Ticker
{{ timeAgo('2019-04-14 22:41:33 -0500') }} football Edit

Commitment breakdown: Texas OT Ty'Kieast Crawford commits to Arkansas

THE SITUATION

Ty’Kieast Crawford could not wait any longer. The talented three-star offensive tackle out of East Texas gave a commitment to the Arkansas staff after taking an official visit to The Hill this past weekend. The Hogs have been on a tear in that part of Texas under second-year head coach Chad Morris, who recruited the state for SMU before this.

Crawford was the second East Texas pledge for the Razorbacks this weekend along with three-star tight end Allen Horace Jr. He picked Arkansas over the likes of Baylor and Alabama, and committed way earlier than he originally planned to. Crawford backed off his commitment to Baylor earlier this spring and wanted to let his recruitment play out until February — just to see what other doors would open up along the way or later on down the line. A springtime commitment from Crawford was gigantic for the Hogs’ 2020 class and generating some serious momentum after spring ball.

WHY IT'S BIG FOR ARKANSAS

East Texas is loaded with top-shelf talent for the Class of 2020. Arkansas has put itself in a strong position to land multiple prospects from the part of the state and Crawford might be the team’s biggest get to date. Morris’ team has been hot on the recruiting trail as it looks to get a head start on the class before the summer. Crawford has been at the top of the Hogs’ board at offensive tackle and an early pledge was a colossal piece for the class to be built around.

Crawford is a 6-foot-6, 320-pound offensive tackle that always lines up on the right side of the formation for Carthage (Texas) High School, which leans on a strong running game and a short and intermediate passing attack. Crawford isn’t asked to pass protect for too long, but he’s nimble and has quick feet. On the right side of the ball, he’ll thrive in the Arkansas offense that’s spread out and quarterbacks are asked to get rid of the ball quickly.

The best part of Crawford’s game is his physicality. He plays with a meanness to him. At 320 pounds, he moves very well. He’s a bully in the run game and gets off the ball very well. He can be dominant as a run-blocker as he drives defenders off the ball and can get to the second level of the defense. He’s a force at right tackle that can wipe out one or two defenders at a time.

WHY IT HURTS ALABAMA, BAYLOR

Crawford quietly made a visit to Tuscaloosa earlier this spring after garnering an offer from new offensive line coach Jeff Banks. Banks was in touch with Crawford well before he even offered and a visit was not originally in the tackle’s plans. Alabama, of course, has national appeal and seeks out the best prospects at every position, but it’s failed to make its mark with the elite Texas offensive linemen. Courtland Ford, Jake Majors, Jaylen Garth and now, Crawford, have all committed elsewhere. The Crimson Tide will have to look elsewhere for blue-chip offensive tackles in 2020.

At one point, Baylor held a verbal commitment from Crawford. He made his way to Arkansas during that team, which eventually led him to back off that pact. Even after he pressed the reset button on his recruitment, he continued to speak glowingly of the Baylor coaching staff, in particular Coach Matt Rhule and continued to give ample attention to the Bears as a team still in the mix. Crawford was in Waco again in March, a month after decommitting. While Baylor certainly lost some confidence in its chances of keeping Crawford in-state in the aftermath of his decommitment, the Bears were a legitimate player in this race only to fall short to the Razorbacks, who were able to consistently get him on campus and seal the deal before Easter.