MLB's top thief almost came to Oklahoma
Last Sunday, Tampa Bay leftfielder Carl Crawford tied a major-league record with six stolen bases in a game.
Crawford’s name should sound familiar to those who follow college recruiting closely. He signed a national letter of intent in 1999 to become an option quarterback at Nebraska. Crawford also strongly considered Oklahoma and Tulsa, plus USC and Florida.
Crawford lettered in football, baseball, basketball and swimming at Jefferson Davis High School in Houston and was offered a basketball scholarship from UCLA.
All other athletic options ended when Crawford .637 as a senior and was drafted in the second round by the Rays. In 2002, Crawford was named the franchise’s Most Outstanding Rookie and was tabbed International League Rookie of the Year while playing for the Durham Bulls.
Crawford reached the majors at age 20, is a four-time American League stolen base champion and leads the league again this season. Though only 27 years old, Crawford is sixth on the active steals list with 322.
Now Crawford playfully is being cursed by NU football bloggers.
“He was a complete kind of quarterback — a guy who could throw the ball well but obviously had great running ability,” former Cornhuskers coach Frank Solich, the man who recruited Crawford, told the Lincoln Journal Star this week. “We thought he could really fit everything we wanted to do. In fact, his kind of ability would’ve allowed us to do a great number of things. If Carl would’ve been in the program, Jammal Lord would’ve been a strong safety, and Jammal would probably still be playing pro ball.”
That’s right, Crawford playing pro baseball actually shortened Lord’s pro football career. Weird how that works, huh?
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