The best RB in the USA??? AJC Super 11 candidate Isaiah Crowell of Carver-Columbus

Since 1985, the AJC’s Super 11 team has transformed into one of the nation’s most elite lists, consisting of the best 11 high school football players from the talent-loaded state of Georgia. Over the next few weeks, we’ll go over the top candidates for this year’s AJC Super 11, which will be released on Aug. 15)

The AJC Super 11 candidate: Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell

The skinny: The 6-foot, 212-pound Crowell is considered by some as the nation’s No. 1 running back. The state of Georgia has an international reputation for producing some of football’s greatest running backs, and Crowell is consensus head of this year’s class. As a junior, Crowell rushed for 1,907 yards and 22 touchdowns on 175 carries, while also catching 18 passes for 241 yards and 3 TDs. Last season, Carver was upset by Flowery Branch 35-33 in the Class AAA quarterfinals.

Colleges: UGA and Alabama appear to be Crowell’s favorites, while Florida State and Clemson are also in the mix. As standard procedure with Carver players, Crowell will likely wait until around national signing day to announce the sweepstakes winner.

They said it: “He’s the best running back I’ve ever coached. From an offensive standpoint, he can do it all. He’s the complete package. He has the speed, the power, great hands, runs great routes, and so much more. He’s a threat to take it to the house from anywhere on the football field.” — Carver-Columbus coach Dell McGee.

The lowdown: Crowell is simply the best at the state’s most heralded position. He moves so fast and quick that sometimes you forgot how big he is (and has gotten bigger and stronger since last year). Crowell has a legit shot at cracking the 3,000-yard barrier this year, depending how far Carver advances in the state playoffs — and they are top contenders to win it all after moving down to Class AA. The thing that really works in Crowell’s favor is that he surrounded on his own team with several other big-time D1 prospects. In other words,  the pressure is on Crowell but not completely on him.  Last year, it was nearly impossible for defenders to key on Crowell because Carver had so many offensive weapons, including QB Devin Burns (2,100 all-purpose yards, 21 TDs, signed with Maryland). Crowell is the offense’s emotional leader, celebrating after clutch runs. He has superior field vision and does lots of his damage on cutbacks. If you let him hit the corner, he has enough speed and power to either outrun or overrun the outside linebackers and defensive secondary. You rarely see Crowell get smacked  hard at the line of scrimmage, due to the blocking of Carver’s o-line and/or Crowell’s vision. In fact, you rarely if ever see Crowell get hit hard anywhere on the field. Crowell is really advanced with his receiving skills, often adjusting to screens and short passes while turning his head to the QB and watching the ball into his hands, showing fearlessness as his back is exposed to the charging defense. He will need to improve on his pass-blocking skills in college, but who cares about that now? I want to see Crowell run, run, run.

If it was completely my vote: Yes. Looking forward to seeing how Crowell performs against the stout defense of three-time defending Class AA state champion Buford when the two teams square off in a non-conference showdown on Sept. 3. For Crowell to cement his legacy as one of Georgia’s “best ever,” he will need to help lead his team to a state championship.

Note: The AJC’s Super 11 team consists of the state’s top 11 senior football players, and not college prospects. It is selected by AJC staff members in a partnership with our friends from GHSFD, based on observing the player either in person or on film. A very important part of the process is getting recommendations and feedback from high school coaches from around the state, along with running the names by a few college coaches. It’s an imperfect process, but we do our best. The AJC’s 2010 Super 11 team will be released next month.

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71 comments Add your comment

Atchins

July 26th, 2010
7:41 am

Wow, I hope to see this boy in the Red and Black!

innocent bystander

July 26th, 2010
8:05 am

It will be an upset if the Dawgs can keep Isaiah out of Tuscaloosa. But it would be a great coup. More than make up for the D’Rick Rogers fiasco.I’m hoping Jarvis Jones can tip the scales. His balance and acceleration are phenomenal.

JB

July 26th, 2010
8:50 am

The guy out of USC that just transferred , who’s from Carver, might give us the edge…..I know what Saban is telling err, promising him, I hope Richt is up to the challenge.

poopdawg

July 26th, 2010
8:52 am

What kind of student is Crowell?

theTruth

July 26th, 2010
8:59 am

Bystander, I wouldn’t call it an upset if UGA gets Crowell. As of today, UGA has a slight lead for his services. But, we all know everyday is a different day in recruiting.

Sowega

July 26th, 2010
9:03 am

He seems a bit overrated too me. He is very good but best in nation? Does not seem to quite have the top end speed and elusiveness that I would associate with past greats like Washaun Ealey or Garrison Hearst. This year will prove if he really is as good as his stats or if last year was a product of being surronded by so much offensive talent. Look forward to seeing Buford and Carver clash!!!

Home boy

July 26th, 2010
9:33 am

sowega what video was you watching? his forte is being elusive and he put distance between himself and his pursuers when in the open, suggest you watch the video again more closely and pay attention to the moves, broken tackles and breakaway speed. very fluid stride.

dap01

July 26th, 2010
9:35 am

Stay at home and be a home town hero. You are going to be a legendary Bulldawg!

Sowega

July 26th, 2010
9:55 am

Home boy, he was also caught from behind several times and usually chose to try and run through people than around them. The all-time greats like Ealey and Hearst just had another gear I did not see in this video or in person. This kid is ultra-talented don’t get me wrong but I see him as a runner more in the style of a Danny Ware or Phillip Rogers. Both highly talented and recruited athletes, but also guys whose weaknesses limited their success at the next level. I do think his balance is superior to both of those though and so I think he will be very productive in college but I expect him to be a level below the all-time great.

dirty

July 26th, 2010
9:59 am

I’ve been telling anyone who would listen that the kid is the best rb in the country this year and last year

schmeckdawg

July 26th, 2010
10:04 am

Putting pressure on Crowell to do well against Buford, I wouldn’t call entirely fair. Look what the Wolves did to Duhrick Rogers in last years Championship Game! Unless The University of Buford is really young, look for it to be a long night for IC. Plus I’d rather see IC in a BULLDAWG helmet lighting up the SEC!

Delbert D.

July 26th, 2010
10:17 am

Looks like a really good fit for the Florida offense. Georgia doesn’t run the spread.

Delbert D.

July 26th, 2010
10:19 am

But then, he won’t make the pros in a gimmick offense.

D.E.

July 26th, 2010
10:23 am

To talk so great about this kid, and to think Kent Rollins is in this same list?? How can a top 11 not have one football offer??

Dawg Fan

July 26th, 2010
10:34 am

I would love to see him in the red and black, carrying on the tradition of great UGA tailbacks! We’re less than 6 weeks from kick-off, can’t wait! Go Dawgs!

Michael Carvell

July 26th, 2010
10:49 am

@D.E., thanks for your comment. These are candidates, not the final Super 11 — which is based on the best high school players in Georgia not college prospects.

1eyedJack

July 26th, 2010
10:50 am

Woof, Woof…..that’s my other dawg imitation.

jsmith

July 26th, 2010
10:57 am

he is one of the must gets for uga this year

destin dawg

July 26th, 2010
11:06 am

Great recruiting class… getting better all the time…Isaiaha.. Stay in State.!! Uga = good education.. business & pro connections,, Athens = best college town..home State hero.. good looking women too !! Go Dawgs !!

destin dawg

July 26th, 2010
11:07 am

Sorry.. Isaiah.. too much coffee

Chuck D

July 26th, 2010
11:29 am

I have to agree with you Home boy, I have no idea what video Sowega was watching!!!..This kid has everything!! Every great running gets caught from behind once in a while, this kid WILL be a great running back on any level if he stays out of trouble and stays in school.

TXDawg (from Decatur to Mansfield, TX)

July 26th, 2010
12:10 pm

Most absurd comment on the blog this week, referencing Washaun Ealy as having great top end speed. Ha! Washaun is 4.5 – 40 at best, unless he’s found some Miracle Grow-like speed formula since he’s been at UGA.
Still think he’s a good back in the Red & Black, though.

C-Town

July 26th, 2010
12:28 pm

POOPDawg, I.Crowell is a good Student. He has already past the ACT, and will take again to get higher score in the fall.

SoweGA, I think you need to up-grade your Laptop or Desktop, because your Computer is blur….To compare Danny Ware with Crowell is Silly….Danny Ware …Come on..And to Question his Speed is just stupid. The Kid finshed 4th in the State in 100 meters. The can fly…and he’s Faster than W.Ealey. Just come to Columbus ga this season, and get a look with your own 2 eyes.

Columbus resident

July 26th, 2010
12:35 pm

Hey Michael,

Why not do some real reporting on how Carver gets away with recruiting? Go interview coaches, teachers, and administrators in Columbus and you’ll find out quickly that the reason that Carver (and formerly Shaw) is good is simply because of recruiting.

harold

July 26th, 2010
12:41 pm

HE WILL WIND UP AT A CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM LIKE A
ALABAMA OR FLORIDA!

C-Town

July 26th, 2010
12:47 pm

C-Town Resident, How does Carver Recruit? MCSD runs a Magnet school sys. To enter a school Magnet Program you must passs a test. So stop Crying. Dell Mcgee is doing a wonderful job of getting the kids in College to have a better life….thats the BIG PICTURE …Not WINS OR L’S or “Recruiting”…

Crowell's new home

July 26th, 2010
1:09 pm

With a capacity of better than 101,000, Alabama’s football stadium will rank as the fourth-largest collegiate arena in the country, passing Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium and Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, among others. Only Beaver Stadium in Pennsylvania (107,282), Michigan Stadium (106,201) and Ohio Stadium (102,329) will be larger.

hogmtndawg

July 26th, 2010
1:13 pm

Hope he learns to NOT celebrate after clutch runs. That will cost his team in college, as we all know.

Crowell's new home

July 26th, 2010
1:14 pm

Alabama has also invested in making the overall game experience better.

For starters, there are four new high-definition video screens — one in each corner of the stadium — each of them 52 feet high and 23 feet long. The south end zone will also have an elongated video board for scores, advertisements and messages similar to the one below the luxury boxes on the east side.

Alabama has also installed a distributed sound system to replace the large collection of speakers that surrounded the old Jumbotron screen in the south end zone that previously emanated all music and public-address sound. Now, around 100 speaker clusters have been spread throughout the stadium to enhance the audio experience at games.

Crowell's new home

July 26th, 2010
1:16 pm

The south end zone will have two levels of luxury boxes, just like the north end, but it’s 8 feet shorter so it will have two less boxes. Below the sky boxes will be the Stadium Club, similar to the Zone club area on the north end, but without a direct view of the field. The club has 30-foot ceilings and will be furnished with multiple high-def televisions and finished with polished concrete floors and wood-covered columns.

59bulldawg

July 26th, 2010
1:18 pm

I want to see this young man in red and black.

Crowell's new home

July 26th, 2010
1:20 pm

With a total of 160 luxury boxes, imposing brick-and-glass end-zone facades, fancy club-area indoor gathering lounges at each end, a new field-level brick walkway and wrought-iron fencing, the outside plaza area at the north end commemorating the program’s rich history and other amenities, Bryant-Denny Stadium will arguably be the grandest college football stadium of them all.

“Now if you took someone to see this stadium, the home of the Crimson Tide, I think they would be genuinely proud,” Moore said. “You know, there stands a magnificent stadium, and it represents a great part of our history.”

destin dawg

July 26th, 2010
1:26 pm

Alabama’ s laying off teachers though ???

dawg house

July 26th, 2010
1:27 pm

ZACK WITCHETT BOOKER T. WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL

Ace

July 26th, 2010
1:27 pm

Gators still win.

rocky redwood

July 26th, 2010
1:29 pm

this dude is the real deal. awesome looking player!

Lilburn Dawg

July 26th, 2010
1:29 pm

Color me impressed! But I am also impressed with the blocking that his line and others are doing. Some of the best downfield blocking especially that I have seen! Congrats to whoever coaching them in how to block!

Teacher

July 26th, 2010
1:38 pm

destin dawg,

And Georgia’s not laying off teachers? Considering that last week the AJC reported that 1 in 3 Georgia schools failed to meet the APR mandated by the national no child left behind act it would be hard to understand why Georgia is laying off teachers. Doesn’t change the fact that Georgia is still laying off teachers though. Read a newspaper once in awhile and not just the sports blogs will ya?

Neutral observor

July 26th, 2010
1:42 pm

Tough choice for Crowell? He can go to Georgia and lose to Florida for 4 straight years and play in a mediocre program where the coach will probably be fired within 2 years but be the home town hero for staying instate.

Or he can go to Alabammer and win championships and play in huge games on prime time TV. Nuff said and easy choice. Any smart kid would go to the Bammers between the 2 but usually the homestate kid goes with the home school. He goes to Georgia.

SECisFootball

July 26th, 2010
2:44 pm

destin dawg…what does that have to do with anything? Georgia is laying off teachers too and they are set to expand their basketball facility, there are plans for an indoor practice facility for football, expansion plans for the football stadium and talk about a new baseball facility. Did you have a point about yout comment about Alabama laying off teachers? And how is that in any contect to an addition to a football stadium that was funded by the athletics department through private donations and not state funded? Just curious to how the situations differ.

Paul in J-Ville

July 26th, 2010
2:53 pm

The Wilder kid from Tampa is by far the best back in the nation…..hands down. Ask all of the recruits that were at the Dawg Day and what they thought of him. Orson and Murray are both trying to get him as is Jones (USC transfer) lobbying for Crowell.
Wilder is 6-2 225 and is the real deal!

JOCO TROJAN

July 26th, 2010
3:17 pm

I would love to see Crowell at UGA. Alabama is going to be hard to beat for him though. UGA’s best bet at him is winning 10+ games this year and Alabama not repeating as SEC or National Champs. Championships sell recruits. I still have my fingers crossed with him. How awesome would it be to land both Wilder and Crowell? That’s the kind of players UGA needs to stock up on in the next couple of years to get over the hump and bring home a MNC. I think this could be a recruiting class to remember if all the chips fall into place.

Paddy

July 26th, 2010
3:18 pm

DE This is a HS list. This has absolutly nothing to do with college scholarships. The 11 best HS players in Georgia.

Tdawg

July 26th, 2010
3:28 pm

I don’t care if Alabama has a luxury box above the center of the field with the Pope in it and blessing Alabama’s football team before every game, they still won’t get every player. I know that Bama fans think that every high school kid that they offer is going to be falling all over themselves to be a crimson tide (whatever the heck that is). I’m sure that Saban could find a way to get them all admitted if they would all come, but it ain’t gonna happen.

Why would it be a shocker if Crowell comes to Georgia? He’s been a dawg fan most his life. I know that he was a little ticked at Georgia about what took place last year but some people do actually get over things like that. Maybe he will be a dawg or maybe he won’t.

Neutral observor my man I beg to differ. Don’t know too many smart people coming out of Bama. Now if you meant that they would have it much eaiser at Bama then I would whole heartly agree with you. Pay’s probably much better also. According to the Bama folk Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan should win the National title ever year scense they have larger stadiums.

You Flordia folk I would think that you would be glad to get that RB/LB in your own back yard to commit to your Gators. You sure as heck ain’t going to get Crowell.

Would love to have the Crowell kid come to Georgia as I happen to believe that he is the best RB in the nation. If we get him great. We’re not particulary thin at RB and I hear that we lead the nation for the number 1 back next year so it would not be a great loss for us, but I think that this kid will be something to behold at the next level.

#1 BAMA FAN

July 26th, 2010
3:28 pm

Crowell….come on to BAMA. I think Tuscaloosa would be as close as Athens. Isiah all we need is a signature and a ring size. He can’t lose either way…Georgia or BAMA. I am ready for some football!RTR

Columbus resident

July 26th, 2010
4:54 pm

C-Town,

When the coaches have in their office a “recruiting board” of the best middle school talent in the city, that is called recruiting. I know all about the Columbus school system, and yes, they are magnet schools. But the schools are not going after these kids for academic reasons, but for athletics. Let’s see what McGee would do with Spencer or Jordan’s talent. Simply put…he’d be looking for a job

NEXT#14

July 26th, 2010
5:05 pm

IF I MAY QUOTE COACH SABAN……I.C. IF YOU WANT TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP YOU KNOW WHERE TO COME!! BEFORE I GET FLAMED ,I ASSURE EACH & EVERYONE OF YOU HE HAS SAID THAT MORE THAN A FEW TIME’S ON THE RECRUITING TRAIL…..AND HE MEAN’S IT LIKE IT OR NOT!!!

SEC fan

July 26th, 2010
5:18 pm

Wilder looks like the best when he’s standing on the field. He’s already a grown man. However he’s not the best RB. He runs straight up with no low-to-the-ground, forward lean. He’s not that fast either. Crowell, Blakely and Bellamy are all better RB’s.

On the other hand, Wilder is tremendous as a LB. That’s his best position however he’s insisting on being recruited as an RB – don’t know whether it’s the pressure/stature to follow in Dad’s footsteps or not.

It’s going to be interesting as to the timing of commitments. Apparently Wilder’s new coach (he transferred to Plant this year) wants to have a joint commitment day with WIlder, Ely (QB) and their O-line D-1 prospect in August. If Crowell or Blakely commit before, I doubt Wilder goes to that school(s).

HOP

July 26th, 2010
5:22 pm

if crowell comes to uga he can have a herschel walker impact including being the #1 personally in the state and a heisman trophy winner.

bama has many heroes,but this guy would have far more staying power that could last a lifetime at georgia.
at alabama he is another football player, at georgia he could bring uga back like herschel did in 1980.

HOP

July 26th, 2010
5:22 pm

if crowell comes to uga he can have a herschel walker impact including being the #1 personally in the state and a heisman trophy winner.

bama has many heroes,but this guy would have far more staying power that could last a lifetime at georgia.
at alabama he is another football player, at georgia he could bring uga back like herschel did in 1980.