For several weeks Stone Bridge defensive lineman Aaron Crawford had planned to announce his college decision Aug. 2 in Ashburn. He had created a short list of North Carolina, Virginia and Boston College and wanted a second look at all the schools before committing.
Over the weekend, though, Crawford took his second trip to North Carolina, met with the dean of the business school and campus advisers and gained a sense of comfort at the Chapel Hill campus.
Around 5 p.m. Tuesday, he called Tar Heels defensive line coach Keith Gilmore to inform him he would continuing his football career at North Carolina. In doing so, he is the first Stone Bridge player to commit to the Tar Heels program.
“It felt like the right fit, and I didn’t need to look around any longer,” Crawford said. “I also didn’t want to be in a situation where someone else commits who plays my position if I waited.”
He is the eighth Class of 2015 student-athlete to commit to North Carolina and the first defensive lineman to pick the Tar Heels.
The 6-foot-1, 310 pound Crawford possesses good footwork and strength when rushing the quarterback. In the middle of the Bulldogs defensive line he collected 69 total tackles and eight sacks as a junior on a 9-3 Stone Bridge team that reached the Virginia 5A North region quarterfinals.
With his oral commitment behind him, Crawford will shift his focus to his final season, when he is expected to see time on offense as a blocking lineman.
On June 21, he will head back to Chapel Hill for Coach Larry Fedora’s Freakshow camp that includes players who have orally committed and others who are undecided. The camp involves skills training with one-one-one drills at the conclusion.
“The pressure is reduced immensely,” Crawford said. “I am ready to get going and support my teammates in preparation for the season. I’m looking forward to supporting Tanner [Karafa, a linebacker/tight end] in his decision and getting back to a state championship.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 12
Consecutive goals the Marriotts Ridge girls’ lacrosse team scored to open its state championship win Wednesday night. The Mustangs capped off a stellar season with a dominating 18-5 win in the Maryland 3A/2A state final against Oakdale.
— The Severna Park girls’ lacrosse team captured its third Maryland 4A/3A title in four years in a 15-5 rout of Catonsville at UMBC.
— Gonzaga won its first rugby national championship Saturday in a 27-26 thriller over Jesuit (Calif.), the Northwest private school’s first national title in 27 years of rugby.
PHOTOS OF THE DAY:
Take a look at the photo gallery of Marriots Ridge state title win over Oakdale in the Maryland 3A/2A girls’ lacrosse state championship in Catonsville.