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Cleveland Browns sign former five-star running back recruit Isaiah Crowell

Cleveland Browns sign running back Isaiah Crowell, former five-star recruit Isaiah Crowell (left) excelled for Georgia as a freshman before legal troubles landed him at Alabama State. (Gary Bogdon/SI/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns are likely to employ a more conservative, run-based offense if wide receiver Josh Gordon is suspended by the NFL, which would give the team's top running backs an endless supply of carries.

Free agent acquisition Ben Tate will be first in line, and Cleveland grabbed Towson standout Terrance West in the third round of the 2014 draft, but backing those two up may be former five-star recruit Isaiah Crowell, whom the Browns signed as an undrafted free agent on Saturday.

If Crowell's name sounds familiar, there's a reason.

MORE DRAFT: Grades for every team | Best undrafted free agents | Veterans on notice

As Georgia's top high school running back recruit, Crowell opted to stay close to home and helped lead the University of Georgia to the SEC title game game in 2011 on his way to earning SEC Freshman of the Year honors.

But weapons charges derailed his future at UGA. He was dismissed from the program, landed at Alabama State the following season and was named the Southwestern Athletic Conference's newcomer of the year, while the charges against him were later dropped.

Crowell posted 6.6 yards per carry during the 2013 season, amassing 1,121 yards and 15 touchdowns. Blessed with a natural blocking instinct and physical gifts which impressed at the combine, it's simply a matter of Crowell keeping his act together off the field.

Assuming he does, Crowell could be a legitimate threat to challenge West for backup duties in Cleveland this season.
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