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As Thanksgiving rolls around, Butler County (Kan.) Community College cornerback and potential University of Arkansas signee Rudell Crim is thankful his team is playing for a national title and that he had a computer this fall.
Crim’s No. 2 ranked Grizzlies (10-1) will face top-ranked Snow College in the Zion’s Bank Top of the Mountain Bowl on Dec. 6 in Salt Lake City, Utah for the junior college national championship.
The computer? Well, it allowed Crim (5-10, 195, 4.4) to catch Michael Smith – his good friend, fellow former Tallahasse (Fla.) Rickards star and Razorback junior tailback who rushed for over 1,000 yards this season - in some of his biggest games.
“They (the Razorbacks) were usually on at the same time as we were or we couldn’t get the game over here,” Crim said. “But luckily, I was able to catch him on ESPN 360. He’s had a great year and I am very proud of him.
“He could easily have let out of there while playing behind two great backs such as (Darren) McFadden and (Felix) Jones, but he was patient and it has really paid off for him,” Crim said. “That should be a great lesson for everyone.”
He also knows how much Smith, who carried the ball as many as 35 times in one game this season, takes care of himself.
“It’s not surprising to me because he is all about the whirlpool and taking care of himself,” Crim said. “He’s got the talent, but also the mental side of the game down to go with that patience.”
Although Smith is injured and want be able to play this Friday against LSU, Crim hopes to be at War Memorial Stadium to see the game.
"That's the plan," Crim said. "I'm not sure if my ride is going to come through, but hopefully I will be able to make it.
Crim, who has 36 tackles, 3 interceptions (one he took back for a touchdown), 6 pass break-ups and 2 quarterback hurries this season, is showing some patience of his own.
He could leave Butler at mid-term to go to a lower level D-1 school, but he has his sights set on playing at a BCS school and to do that he must stay another semester at Butler.
“To be able to be eligible at an SEC, Big 12 or Pac-10 school, I have to take a college algebra class next semester,” Crim said. “That’s where my head is at right now. That’s the level I want to play on.”
He will visit Oregon on Dec. 12-14 and then has plans to come to Arkansas on Jan. 9-11.
“I still have to get back with the Arkansas coaches, but that is the weekend that I am pretty sure I am coming over,” Crim said. “Michael has great things to say about Arkansas and the team chemistry and the coaches and how it would be a great place for me to play.”
Crim doesn’t rule out other schools such as Kansas, South Florida, Ole Miss,, Louisville and Iowa State, but also doesn’t discount the fact that he will most likely end up at one of the two aforementioned schools.
“Right now those are my main two and more than likely it will be one of them,” Crim said. “But I will see who else possibly jumps in and think it over.”
Playing for its second straight national title seemed an unlikely scenario after Butler lost its first game of the season to Blinn (Texas) Junior College 23-20.
“That was certainly not the way that anyone wanted the season to start and it’s amazing – especially considering we are so young - that we got ourselves in this position at the end of the year,” Crim said. “It just shows what can happen if you put in the hard work, believe in each other and have some talent, which we do.”
Along with Crim, a plethora of other prospects are expected to be on hand for the Arkansas-LSU game:
UA 2009 Commits slated to be on hand:
• Austin Moss, LB, 6-3, 215, Rockwall-Heath (Texas) High
• Jerry Mitchell, S, 6-1, 200, Mandeville, La.
• Will Secord, QB, 6-3, 200, Frisco (Texas) Wakeland
• Rickey Hughey, DE, 6-6, 225, Lafayette County
• Robert Thomas, DT, 6-2, 311, Muskogee, Okla.
• Jahron Brown, FB, 6-0, 230, Dallas (Ga.) East Paulding
Other 2009 prospects:
• Rudell Crim, CB, 5-10, 195, Butler CC (if he gets his ride worked out)
• Zach Payne, SS, 6-1, 210, Valley Forge (PA) Military School
• Morgan Scala, OL, 6-3, 260, Valley Forge (PA) Military School
• Joe Collins, OL, 6-3, 265, Copiah-Lincoln (Miss) CC
• Taj Jones, LB, 6-2, 190, Sulphur, La.
• Alphonso Coleman, CB, 5-11, 180, Frisco (Texas) High
• Cody Holland, OL, 6-5, 290, Neosho, Mo.
• Vernon Scott, ATH, 6-0, 190, Muskogee
• Patrick Davis, P, 6-3, 200, Pocahontas
• Jake McDonald, OL, 6-3, 285, Corning
• Michael Tibbs, RB, 6-1, 190, Rogers
• Matt Vinson, QB, 6-2, 190, Alma
• Carlos Donely, DL, 6-8, 355, North Pulaski
• Will Schiechtl, TE, 6-7, 220, Conway
• Dustin Dixon, TB, 6-0, 200, Livonia, La.
• Alphonso Coleman, CB, 5-11, 180, Frisco (Texas) High
• Chase Howland, 6-4, 300, Plano (Texas) East
• Barrett Bailey, QB, 6-3, 190, Baton Rouge (La.) Lab
Listed but I don't see how because he is playing Friday night at Bentonville
• David Stewart, DT, Russeville, 6-3, 327
• Michael Dyer, TB, 5-10, 200, Little Rock Christian
• Dakota Mosley, TE, 6-5, 240, Little Rock Christian
• Claude Johnson, QB, 6-1, 190, Pine Bluff
• Jonathan Frazier, 6-4, 180, Pine Bluff
• Courtney Haskell, TB, 5-11, 190, Warren
• Eldon Thompson, LB, 6-2, 235, Warren
• Jarad Loston, ATH, 6-0, 165, Berwick, La.
• Grant Gill, S, 6-0, 200, McGehee
• Austin Weatherford, OL, 6-5, 270, Maypearl, Texas