Alabama State junior running back Isaiah Crowell will enter the 2014 NFL Draft, according to his head coach Reggie Barlow. The former five-star high school recruit was dismissed from Georgia prior to the 2012 season for a weapons-related arrest and transferred to FCS-level Alabama State.
"Honestly, when he came here that was one of the things that we talked about when he arrived that he would be here two years and that would be his goal," Barlow said on Thursday regarding Crowell's intentions to play in the NFL next year. "Throughout the season, we haven't had much talk about it but we have confirmed that that's what he's gonna do as of right now."
Crowell is currently ranked as the No. 13 eligible running back and No. 167 prospect overall by NFLDraftScout.com. In 12 games this season, he has rushed for 1,126 yards on 170 carries and 15 touchdowns, averaging 6.7 yards per rush. Crowell has been hampered by an ankle injury the last few weeks and was held to single-digit carries the last two games.
Listed at 5-11 and 190 pounds, Crowell is a dynamic athlete with the explosive feet and shifty moves to quickly change directions and redirect his momentum to keep defenders off balance. He has a lean frame for the position, but is tougher and more physical than he looks, never afraid to lower his pads and get his nose dirty. He wasn't used much in the passing game, but he has shown soft hands as a pass-catcher and displays accurate awareness in pass protection. Crowell has some durability concerns, but his character and off-field decision-making are the big questions with his draft stock and something that will be thoroughly investigated by NFL teams.
A native of Columbus, Georgia, Crowell stayed home and became a Georgia Bulldog, earning SEC Freshman of the Year honors with 850 yards and five scores in 2011. However he was arrested in the summer of 2012 for multiple felony weapon charges, which were later dropped, and dismissed from the program. Instead of sitting out a year and transferring to a different FBS program, Crowell enrolled at FCS-level Alabama State and was the Southwestern Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year in 2012 with 842 rushing yards and 15 scores as a sophomore.