Duke fans have been well aware of Jamison Crowder and his talents for years now. For four years we got to witness Crowder’s speed, agility, and passion for the game as he helped engineer an unprecedented turnaround in the Duke Football program. Crowder left Duke as the ACC’s all time leader in receptions and will certainly be remembered as one of the best playmakers in Duke history.
Crowder has defied the odds over and over again in his football career, overcoming the stigma of being too short and too small to make a real impact everywhere he has been. After being selected in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft by Washington Crowder faces another uphill battle, proving himself worthy as an NFL receiver.
Crowder has impressed in the film room and on the field in mini camps so far. Head Coach Jay Gruden has taken notice of the Duke alum.
“Right now, he’s showing that he can take what we’re teaching him in the classroom and translate it effortlessly to the playing field. He’s got good, strong hands, and obviously, based on what we saw on the college tape, we know going across the middle that he’s got no fear.
“Obviously we’re not hitting right now so it might be a little skewed, but based on what we saw in college, we know that he’s a tough guy over the middle. He’s got all the traits we you want in slot receiver, and obviously, he’s a heck of a punt returner.”
Crowder’s performance while in Durham and so far in Washington are setting the bar high for the Monroe, NC native.
While Crowder continued to give opposing corners trouble in mini camp, just like he did in the ACC for four years, his work isn’t over. Things are only going to get more difficult for him as he is forced to match up with bigger, stronger, and more experienced defenders in training camp and the regular season.
“I know that once the older guys get back in here there’s gonna definitely be a difference,” Crowder said. “But I’m just out here having fun and competing.”
Crowder was one of a few Redskins’ rookies to report to camp early to get a jump start on learning the playbook and philosophies of the coaching staff. Crowder’s preparation now will go a long way in getting him ready to make an impact in the NFL this season and in the future. He has always shown a willingness to play wherever he can help the team and it won’t be any different in Washington.
“I just want to get on the field and play and display my talents and abilities,” Crowder said. “If it’s getting out there on special teams, I’ll do that. That’s something I had great success with in college, and I want to translate that to the next level. And from the wide receiver position, I want to learn from the older guys and get as much playing time as possible and be a weapon and a threat.”
He also credited his time at Duke and with Coach Cutcliffe for preparing him for the NFL and learning and practicing traits that will make him a successful player in the league.
“Knowing what everyone has to do — that was something that we had to learn at Duke –not just knowing your certain position, but knowing everybody across the board,” Crowder said. “And at the next level, I already know that’s what you have to do. So playing in [Cutcliffe’s] system has really helped me out to this point.”
Training camp will begin in late July or early August, but most fans will be able to get their first look at Crowder in Washington’s first preseason game against Cleveland on August 13.