Notre Dame football adds CB recruit Shaun Crawford

South Bend Tribune

In announcing Sunday where he will play college football, cornerback Shaun Crawford wrote on his Twitter account that he was making his dad proud on Father's Day.

The decision no doubt also brought a smile to the face of Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.

Crawford, who plays at St. Edward High in Lakewood, Ohio, became the 13th player to verbally commit to ND's recruiting class of 2015, picking the Irish from an offer list that included Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan.

"This," offered CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, "is a big-time player."

Lemming ranks the 5-foot-9, 165-pound Crawford as a four-plus star player while 247Sports and Rivals each give Crawford four stars. His commitment nudged the Irish into the No. 9 spot in the Rivals team rankings, No. 10 in the 247Sports list.

"I wanted to take advantage of an opportunity that most people don't get," Crawford told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I feel Notre Dame will make me the best person and player possible. Notre Dame is a prestigious university that my athleticism has gotten me in to. However, I will rely on my intelligence and hard work in the classroom to succeed at Notre Dame."

Crawford had committed to Michigan in August but backed out of that pledge last month. Crawford, according to 247Sports, was offered Feb. 21 by Notre Dame and made an unofficial visit to the school on May 17, less than a week before opening his recruitment.

Crawford, according to the Plain Dealer, had 82 tackles and two interceptions as a junior. He also totaled 808 yards and accounted for 10 touchdowns on offense. According to 247, Crawford runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.

"Explosive cover corner, the best in the Midwest, that's why everyone was after him," Lemming said. "Everything is smooth. He has natural cover skills."

If critics are looking for a knock, it could be height, but Lemming quickly pointed out that Crawford has a 39-inch vertical.

"Which means he plays like a 6-footer," Lemming said.

Notre Dame is expected to sign a class in the range of 20 players. Crawford is the fifth player to commit in an eight-day span, with all five being defensive players -- three interior linemen and two cornerbacks.

NCAA rules prohibit Kelly from publicly commenting on recruits until the Feb. 5 national signing day.

Watch highlights of Crawford here. ¦ 574-235-6428 ¦ Twitter: @BobWienekeNDI

3. CB Shaun Crawford, 5-9, 170; Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward: Though undersized, Crawford brings the skill set of an explosive playmaker to Notre Dame's defens (Photo courtesy of Cleveland Plain Dealer/CHUCK CROW).

The following players have made verbal commitments to begin playing at Notre Dame in 2015. Signing day is Feb. 4, 2015

•Jerry Tillery, OL, 6-7, 312, Shreveport, La. (Evangel Christian)

•Tristen Hoge, C, 6-4, 285, Pocatello, Idaho (Highland)

•Prentice McKinney, DB, 6-2, 180, Dallas (South Oak Cliff)

•Jalen Guyton, WR, 6-1, 185, Allen, Texas (Allen)

•Nicco Fertitta, S, 5-9, 172, Las Vegas (Bishop Gorman)

•Trevor Ruhland, OL, 6-4, 270, Cary, Ill. (Cary Grove)

•C.J. Sanders, WR, 5-10, 163, Brentwood, Tenn. (Brentwood Academy)

•Josh Barajas, LB, 6-3, 212, Merrillville, Ind. (Andrean)

•Brandon Tiassum, DT, 6-4, 296, Indianapolis (Park Tudor)

•Micah Dew-Treadway, DT, 6-5, 273, Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bolingbrook)

•Nick Coleman, DB, 6-0, 175, Kettering, Ohio (Alter)

•Elijah Taylor, DT, 6-3, 285, Cincinnati (Moeller)

•Shaun Crawford, DB, 5-9, 165, Lakewood, Ohio, (St. Edward)