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July 7, 2006

Memphis back could see stock rise

Memphis (Tenn.) Ridgeway running back Aaron Crawford, rated by Rivals.com as the state's No. 14 prospect regardless of position, has two offers to his credit and is receiving attention from all over.

"My offers are still from Mississippi State and Kentucky," the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Crawford said. "I also like Notre Dame, LSU, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, pretty much the whole SEC and ACC."

Crawford, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds, likes what South Carolina has to offer.

"Even though they haven't offered me, South Carolina is a team that jumped on me early in the process and told me they like me," Crawford said. "They said they like what they see on film, and that they would be watching me closely. Something about South Carolina feels right to me. It's hard to explain."

While he's still learning about them, Missisippi State's early offer to Crawford made an impression on him.

"Mississippi State jumped on me first, and that's a big up for them. I don't know as much about their program as some of the others, but that first offer meant a lot to me."

Crawford, who ran for almost 2,300 yards as a junior, took an unofficial visit to LSU earlier in the process and enjoyed the trip.

"My dad at the University of Memphis has a colleague ay LSU, so he set it up for me. They greeted me and made me feel at home. They have great facilities and a nice program. I really like it there."

Tennessee rounds out the list of schools Crawford commented on.

"I can't forget Tennessee," he said. "Coach (Phillip) Fulmer came by the school to see me, and that meant a lot to me. He said he wants me to visit them sometime soon, and I want to do that."

Crawford will base his decision on several factors.

"Academics are most important," he said. "My relationship with the coaches is another. I want to play in a good offense where I know I'll get some touches. Plus I'd like to get some early playing time."

For now, Crawford plans to remain patient.

"I'm just going to focus on my having a great senior season. Then once I know what all my options are, I'll setup my official visits. I'll probably commit sometime in January."

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