If you had not already heard, Dallas Crawford who filled in admirably last season as the starting tailback after Duke Johnson's injury, is now listed as a DB on UM's roster.
Dallas Crawford led team w/ 12 rushing TDs, but has been moved to defensive back according to official UM roster. Spring ball starts Sat— InsideTheU.com (@InsideTheU) February 27, 2014
My first reaction to the news was, "What, why?!"
But after thinking about it, it all started to make a lot of sense.
Yes Johnson is coming off of a broken ankle and will miss spring practice, And yes incoming freshman Joseph Yearby will also miss spring ball (broken left fibula).
And while RB depth is a concern in the interim, Walter Tucker and Gus Edwards should be able to carry the load short term. No one is expecting either Johnson or Yearby's injuries to last into the fall.
With the exception of Allen Hurns and Pat O'Donnell, you would be hard pressed to find a 'Cane that played better last year over 13 games than Crawford. He amassed 558 yards on 137 carries and a dozen scores.
But..... he only averaged a pedestrian 4.1 ypc. Compare that to Duke's 6.3 and Gus' 5.1.
I am not saying Crawford is a bad back by any means. Despite being just 5'10 196, he plays with great pad level, and his gives you 110% every single minute he is on the field.
But he simply lacks that extra gear that makes good running backs great.
Now as a safety that could hurt him in coverage. Time will tell.
But if he tackles as hard as he runs, he is going to be a big improvement over what Miami's back end did last year. Let's be honest folks, the last line of defense for Miami last year was often indefensible.
And while improvement from Deon Bush is expected, and Kiy Hester's abilities promise to get hm on the field early and often, safety is in my opinion a much, much bigger position of need for UM right now than RB.
The Hurricanes defense in general needs WAY more help than its' offense.
What better way to ignite the unit than to add someone you know is going to bring it?
Let us also not forget that Crawford came to the 'Canes as a defensive player.
In fact in 2011, his redshirt season. he was named "Defensive Scout Player of the Year" by the coaching staff for his work at DB.
He was also a two way star in H.S. who picked off 9 passes as a senior. This move is not going to be foreign to him.
Yes, the more I think about it, the more this move makes perfect sense.