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Friday, July 24, 2009

Jocques Crawford leaves KU football team

RB Crawford seeks 'more playing time'

Kansas University Running back Jocques Crawford may not start for the jayhawks this fall, but the Cisco (Texas) Junior College transfer is still hoping to make a huge splash in coach Mark Mangino's system.

Kansas University Running back Jocques Crawford may not start for the jayhawks this fall, but the Cisco (Texas) Junior College transfer is still hoping to make a huge splash in coach Mark Mangino's system.

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KU's Crawford to transfer

KU Football player Jocques Crawford will transfer to a lower-division school to play. Crawford cited a desire for more playing time as a main reason for his departure.

Jocques Crawford’s brief and enigmatic career as a Kansas University running back came to an unceremonious conclusion this week, not much more than a year after it began.

In a press release issued Friday, the university announced that Crawford, a 6-foot-1, 230-pound Memphis native, would be leaving the program — a development that ended weeks of speculation about the player’s future with the team.

Following the Jayhawks’ spring game in April, KU football coach Mark Mangino first indicated there was a chance that Crawford, a senior-to-be, would not be wearing a Kansas uniform this fall. Citing what he called multiple violations of team rules in a short period of time, Mangino told reporters Crawford had been suspended indefinitely, with the possibility of a permanent dismissal from the program.

“I just don’t know his status,” the coach said at the time. “I’ll be honest with you: I don’t know ... whether he’ll be back or not.”

Crawford’s suspension came shortly after an incident in which KU offensive lineman Ben Lueken was either struck by or fell from the hood of a vehicle in the parking lot of the Jayhawker Towers. Crawford was questioned by police regarding the incident.

Mangino, however, did not refer to that incident in an issued statement, which indicated Crawford would seek a transfer to a lower-division program.

“Jocques was looking for an opportunity to get more playing time,” the coach said. “We support his decision and wish him well.”

For Crawford, the quiet exit stood in sharp contrast to his ballyhooed arrival.

From the time he set foot on campus last summer, as a four-star transfer out of Cisco Junior College in Texas, Crawford was widely viewed as the immediate successor to departed running back Brandon McAnderson, who had helped lead the Jayhawks to a 12-1 record and Orange Bowl title in the 2007 season.

Before signing with KU in the Class of 2008, he’d spent two seasons at Cisco, where he was named the national junior-college offensive player of the year after rushing for 1,935 yards and 19 touchdowns in ’07.

And for a Kansas fanbase still glowing from an unprecedented run in ’07, Crawford’s signing seemed to mark the dawn of a new recruiting day for a once-dormant program — even if it brought about a bit of controversy in the process.

While a student at Memphis’ Cordova High in 2005, Crawford, then 17, pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor simple assault following an incident involving a 15-year-old girl. Mangino did his best to dispel concerns about Crawford’s character, citing an exhaustive background-check process by his coaching staff, although the running back quickly propelled himself into the local spotlight, when, during one of his first meetings with local media, he stated that his goal was to run for 2,000 yards during his first season at Kansas.

In the end, he finished his first and only season with 232 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 62 carries while backing up fellow running backs Jake Sharp and Angus Quigley.

Crawford’s departure leaves the Jayhawks with five known running backs on their 2009 roster. Barring any unforeseen developments, Sharp will be the team’s Week 1 starter after rushing for 860 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Rell Lewis, who rushed 14 times for 64 yards in the spring game, will vie for the backup spot, along with freshmen Toben Opurum and Deshaun Sands and junior-college transfer Daniel Porter.

Comments

Dyrk Dugan 5 years, 3 months ago

well, he got 10% of that 2000 yards he boasted about. He was hyped as a big time recruit, ...and maybe he was, but he didn't play like it.

we'll be in good shape for '09 at RB. Hope he does well whereever he goes.

Jake Powell 5 years, 3 months ago

Remember when he said he would rush for 2,000 yards in a season?? He got 200. Have fun at Emporia State or Washburn!

truefan 5 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, I don't want to tear him down. I'm sad it didn't work out, I just wonder what happened behind the scenes. Good luck Jocques.

Rivethead 5 years, 3 months ago

This has been a pet-peeve of mine since it came out: Jocque Crawford never promised, boasted, or guaranteed he would rush for 2000 yards. He simply stated, in one of his first interviews, that he had set a personal goal to rush for 2000 yards that season.

Personally, I can't fault the kid for being excited about being on our team and setting a lofty goal. Why not aim high? I'm not sure why everyone else seems to hold it against this kid.

Too bad Jocque didn't work out. I wish him well where ever he lands.

5 years, 3 months ago

My guess is it partially had to do with the Ben Lueken incident.

Reality is though, he probably wasn't going to get many reps anyway. I too wish him well.

hawk316 5 years, 3 months ago

You can't blame him for wanting more playing time. A college football career flies by, and most players don't relish the idea of spending most of that time on the bench. He's got some legit talent, but it just didn't work for him at KU. Hopefully, he'll find a better situation elsewhere.

Christopher Hauser 5 years, 3 months ago

txrockchalk-"My guess is it partially had to do with the Ben Lueken incident."

can you comment more or are you really just guessing? Or did I just miss something and this is known all around? Would love to hear more.

jchief40 5 years, 3 months ago

“When I talk to my family, a personal goal I set for myself is that I want to rush for 2,000 yards,” Crawford said. “I don’t know if I’ll achieve it, but thats my goal.”

Doesn't sound to me like he's boasting one bit people...

panalytic 5 years, 3 months ago

Best wishes on your next move Jocques!!!

BrockIII 5 years, 3 months ago

Crawford was a suspect in the Ben Lueken case where he was thrown off a moving car. His suspension from the team coincided with this situation and some suspected that would be the end of his career at KU. The whole thing kind of flew under the radar.

5 years, 3 months ago

Thanks, BrockIII. Click on the story link I provided in my previous post, chrishauser20. Not much has really been said or come out since the time that story was written.

Tribehawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Whether this is related to the Leuken incident or not, Crawford would have gotten no playing time this year behind Toben anyway.

Ben Kane 5 years, 3 months ago

it has to be about that incident! Too bad really, whether touted by him or the fans there certainly was a lot of hype about him. He certainly didn't live up to it last year but I was kinda hoping that it was just a bigger adjustment then he'd anticipated and that this was going to be a year with him and Sharp like we had two years ago. Doesn't really matter though, cuz I have a man crush on Sharp and he's going to rip it up this year.

On another note: As to this QB debate going on...

Reesing is awesome and he may very well be the best QB in the country but he will never out-hype the big boys (Tebow, Mccoy, Bradford). I'll still take him any day of the week! Oh yeah, and I'm sick to death of hearing about Tebow!

suttonku 5 years, 3 months ago

like we didnt see this coming...who cares...Toben Opurum will be better than crawford...I just hope we dont run Sharp up the middle so much this season...let Opurum run up the middle and Sharp on the outside..and Reesing throwing over the top= KU winning the north

Christopher Hauser 5 years, 3 months ago

BrockIII, txrockchalk- thanks, I did not know that, I must have been out of town when it came up that Crawford was a suspect. I did click on the link on your post but just flipped through the article without really reading it, must have missed it. Thanks.

Andy Hess 5 years, 3 months ago

it didn't come out because it was carefully NOT reported by anyone. it also wasn't reported that he was arrested for it. its all in the public record. go to the douglas county jail website and look up his arrest report.

mandomax 5 years, 3 months ago

He'll get the numbers he wants going to a lower division school.

kw11b2p 5 years, 3 months ago

by the way, Crawford "decided to leave" after he ran over a fellow teamate while intoxicated because of a racially based conflict between the two. That is why he was suspended from the team and the real reason he's gone.

Jeffery Stadler 5 years, 3 months ago

I remember him tip toeing into holes. Hardest I saw him play was on Special teams. Good luck elsewhere. Should run over people at D2 level.

jayhawkintx73 5 years, 3 months ago

Too bad the kid didn't have the maturity to play D1 ball. Well, we got Opurum, Sands, and Sharp. Looks much better for the running game this year. If they can get 200 yards a game combined, KU's offense will be better than a year ago. And thats saying something!

suttonku 5 years, 3 months ago

this guy will be in jail for attempted murder soon...ridiculous...this guy had NFL talent but he conducts himself like Pacman Jones...why cant all athletes act like a Todd Reesing?

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 3 months ago

Some of you must live under a rock. The entire Crawford drama has been ongoing for quite some time.

rasta_meta 5 years, 3 months ago

I think njjayhawk is right. Crawford was terrible at reading blocks and thus lost playing time. It was probably his frustration contributed to some off the field incidents. Anyway, he most likely wasn't going to get many carries these season and it was in his best interest to leave the program.

suttonku 5 years, 3 months ago

he also lost playing time because a person I know within KU said he was deep in Mangino's doghouse to start the season...some off the field issues before running over a teammate.

John Randall 5 years, 3 months ago

""by the way, Crawford "decided to leave" after he ran over a fellow teamate while intoxicated because of a racially based conflict between the two. That is why he was suspended from the team and the real reason he's gone."" kw11b2p -- No one was 'run over' in that incident. Intoxication was never verified, either for the driver or the goofball who jumped on the hood of a moving vehicle and slid off when it stopped. With that much misinformation, I have to dismiss your racial comment as well.
HCMM mentioned 'several violations of team rules over a short period of time,' so this was only one of them. My supposition is that heightening frustration with his prospects on the field built beyond what he could handle well, and he 'went off' a few times, which the coach(es) decided required his quarantine from teammates (indefinite suspension). Transferring is his decision.

John Randall 5 years, 3 months ago

""this guy will be in jail for attempted murder soon...ridiculous...this guy had NFL talent but he conducts himself like Pacman Jones...why cant all athletes act like a Todd Reesing?""

Maybe the same reason not all lawyers act like Bill & Hillary?

kw11b2p 5 years, 3 months ago

look, I'm simply repeating what a member of the teams coaching staff told me. If you choose to believe a media report (gee, how could that possibly be manipulated by the University) over a member of the coaching staff then that is your choice. I've know this man for some time and he's never lied before. The only possibility is he was misinformed, but I find that hard to believe seeing as he attended a meeting about the situation.

Awallace0087 4 years, 11 months ago

I know I'm really late on this....

I personally know Joc, and all of these assumptions about his character are crap. He didn't boast about anything, he made a goal to set for himself. I guarantee you that he will make it in Division I football and will certainly make it in the NFL. Stop judging people and situations that you know nothing about.

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