As far as linebackers in the state of Maryland go, most people savvy with the high school recruiting world will immediately name Cal recruit Nick Forbes, West Virginia commit Troy Gloster, and former Good Counsel superstar (and current Florida Gator) Jelani Jenkins. North Point middle linebacker Conner Crowell can now be added to that list.
Crowell helped lead the Eagles to a 10-0 regular season record, posting incredibly impressive numbers at both linebacker and running back. The junior had 100 tackles, four sacks, four interceptions, a punt block, two fumble recoveries, and 10 total touchdowns (eight offensive). North Point lost to Old Mill, the eventual state champs, in the first round of the playoffs.
As a sophomore, Crowell mostly played on the defensive line and at fullback, but has since switched over to linebacker, a more natural position for him. Standing at 6'1, 219 and running a 4.5 40-yard dash, Crowell is typical of a new breed of linebackers - their size and speed resemble a safety, but they can still hit hard. He pointed to his speed when asked about his strengths as a linebacker.
The ability to run down any ball carrier, he said. And I can pretty much cover anybody at any speed. I've got to start using my hands more though and getting off blocks better.
Crowell says his experience as a running back has helped him at linebacker, You know what their instincts are and you have a better idea of what they're going to do.
The junior received his first scholarship offer only a few hours ago, as Assistant Coach Charles Bankins of Maryland let Crowell know that he had a place on the Maryland team.
[Coach Bankins] just e-mailed my dad and told me to call, Crowell said. And I called him up and he said he wants to offer me and he wants me to be a Terp.
Crowell likes the school and the program, and is looking forward to more research on the Terps.
I feel pretty good, exciting for the first offer, he said. I feel good about the school, it's a good school from what I've heard, I know a couple of people that go up there, and you know, it's close to home so I won't have to travel far away. They had a bad year, but they're a young team and they have a good recruiting class coming in.
The junior said he will most likely wait on making his decision until next season.
I'm probably just gonna sit and wait to see what I can get and then lay out all the choices and choose the school that I like the best.
Crowell was named a consensus member of the AP All-State team and was named to the Washington Post All-Met team, and he says that he is proud of these big accomplishments.