By Heath Walley
From small-town Bay Springs all the way to Blacksburg, Virginia, a local football standout will be making that his home for the next two years.
Defensive tackle DaShawn Crawford proved himself at Bay Springs High School helping to lead the Bulldogs to the 2A State Championship game in 2016 before moving on to Jones College where he starred for the Bobcats the past two years. Now, he will take his talents to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Virginia Tech Hokies.
Crawford received several offers to extend his football career while at Jones, but a call from the Hokies almost two weeks ago was just one he could not pass up. He signed with the storied football program during the NCAA early national signing period Saturday at a press conference held at Bay Springs High School.
“It’s amazing. It’s a great opportunity for me, and it’s a great opportunity for my community where I can show them I can play outside of Mississippi,” he said Saturday. “I plan to go there and start, and to make the best of it.”
Crawford, humble in his young age, credits many people for his success on the football field over the years, especially his family, but none more than his grandmother, Joycelyn Wilson, who has passed away.
“My family has been a great part of it. My mom and dad have been there with me all of the time. But to me, honestly, my grandmother had a big impact on me. She helped me go to camps; she helped me do everything. She kept me motivated, and basically, I am going to be playing for her,” he explained.
Crawford is among 15 football players that graduated from Jones earlier this month and will be enrolled at D-1 four-year schools for the spring semester.
“They did everything athletically and academically to achieve this goal. All of these players (including Crawford) will be enrolled in January and ready to go for spring training, which is so, so important,” said JC head coach Steve Buckley said. “It’s important for our kids that come in as freshmen that they know they must graduate in December (sophomore year) for your stock to be most valuable.”