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Crawford Not Interested In Living In The Past
The Morning News/Razorback Central
Posted Mar 26, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE — The player on the receiving end of The Miracle on Markham II would rather not talk about his game-winning catch against LSU.
wide receiver London Crawford doesn’t want to discuss the past at all — regardless of if it’s good or bad.
Sure, the senior has been reminded over the past few months of his 24-yard touchdown catch on a fourth-and-1 play with 21.8 seconds remaining to help beat LSU 31-30 in the final game of last season in War Memorial Stadium.
But Crawford doesn’t want to discuss it. He’d rather turn his attention to making the most of his final season with the Razorbacks than continuing to dwell on the last play he made in a game.
“Most people remember you off the last thing you do. So that (catch) was the last thing I did,” Crawford said. “It was a great play, but hopefully I can build off of that and be a better receiver and have more big plays like that.”
Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino hopes that’s the case as well.
Petrino acknowledged that Crawford had a “good season” but not a great one while recording career highs in receptions (27) and yards (311).
While he showed he could make plays in critical moments down the stretch, Crawford continued to be bothered by dropped passes.
And his lone touchdown of the season was his memorable, over-the-shoulder catch against LSU, which was replayed on ESPN and named a finalist for the Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the Year.
“We need to utilize him better,” Petrino said. “We need to get him the ball in better situations and that’s really up to me to do that.”
Crawford is hoping the spring will show coaches that all the work he did in the offseason has helped him prepare for a larger role.
Looking to establish himself as a senior leader on a receiving corps filled with sophomores, Crawford worked in the weight room to add nine pounds to his 6-foot-2 frame.
He regularly met with Arkansas strength and conditioning coach Jason Veltkamp in the hopes of getting quicker off the line of scrimmage. He accomplished that and proved he was one of the fastest players on the team when he recently ran the 40-yard dash in a personal-best time of 4.35 seconds.
And as an upperclassman, Crawford made it a point to get all the wide receivers together in the winter so they could run routes and catch passes from Arkansas’ quarterbacks.
“London would get the receivers in there, I would get the quarterbacks in there and we’d go out there and throw,” quarterback Ryan Mallett said. “We’d just try to improve as much as we could without the coaches being there, and I think that’s showing out here on the field.”
Crawford made several impressive catches the first week of spring practice, but has also shown that he still has trouble holding onto the football. He said his dropped passes are simply the result of not keeping his eyes on the ball, even after it hits his hands.
“(Wednesday) he made some real good plays, and he had a couple easy drops,” Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said. “... It’s just a matter of the more and more reps he gets, I think, the better he can get.”
But Crawford’s demeanor is drastically different than when he arrived at Arkansas in 2006 as a fast-talking freshman who was highly recruited and loved the spotlight. He’s more low-key now.
“I don’t think it’s I’ve gotten quieter,” Crawford said. “I think I’ve matured more than what I was when I was a young guy.”
But that, along with the Miracle on Markham II, is in the past. Crawford would rather talk about something else instead.
Weight: 204 pounds
Hometown: Mobile, Ala.
Notable: Crawford is coming off his most productive season since arriving at Arkansas as a highly touted freshman in 2006. He recorded career highs in receptions (27) and yards (311), surpassing his sophomore season in 2007 when he caught eight passes for 147 yards and one touchdown. Crawford scored only one touchdown last season, but his 24-yard catch with 21.8 seconds remaining to beat LSU is one of the more memorable plays in Arkansas history. The play has been dubbed The Miracle on Markham II.
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