When it comes to small schools and not getting any decent Division-I looks, there’s always that one player that sticks out but still hasn’t been noticed by recruiters. That may change over the next few months for Azle High School linebacker Johnny Crow.
As the Hornets head into the playoffs after winning the district crown this past Friday, they’ll need their hard hitting linebacker to continue the big time season he’s had in 2014.
Season stats: 105 tackles (70 solo), 8 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 blocked kick
Crow won’t be known as one of the fastest linebackers in Texas high school football but what linebackers are looked at for speed first and foremost? If you watch his senior highlight film, you can see Crow’s ability to read the play, to know where the ball is at all times, and when he gets to the guy with the ball there is no getting away from him. Oh, and one more thing, when you see the green 42 jersey coming your way you may as well know it hits like a Mack truck (see the first clip in the senior highlight film).
Scouting report: Doesn’t get lost in the line of scrimmage trying to over anticipate the play, watches the play develop before he makes his first move. Great size and build for a linebacker. Best thing you’ll notice about watching his film is his ability to wrap up. This isn’t a linebacker that’s going to miss many tackles when he gets to the ball carrier. Goes all out every play, won’t stop if a play gets behind him. Has the ability to get down field to help on a tackle. Has the speed to get through the line on a blitz and time the snap count. Big physical linebacker and he’s the kind of guy that isn’t afraid of the big hit, something a lot of schools sh0uld be looking for in a college linebacker.
The high school season isn’t over yet and Crow will get his chance to showcase his skills in the playoffs this coming week. Just because an offer hasn’t come in yet doesn’t mean it won’t. A few schools I’d keep my eye on over the next few months are SMU, North Texas, and smaller schools like Sam Houston State and Abilene Christian. With SMU’s coaching future very much up in the air, they won’t be able to recruit or offer players until they know who their next head coach is going to be or even if a lot of the assistants and recruiters are keeping their job. Once that part is figured out, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear SMU has gained some interest.