Growing up in the Shreveport area, LSU receiver commit Decoldest Crawford can only recall three players from his area that have been offered by the Tigers. There was Crawford, former lockdown corner and current NFL star Tre'davious White as well as Kendrick Law, an athlete in the 2022 class that could play multiple positions for the purple and gold.
Crawford wasted no time once he picked up the offer from the home state Tigers. After receiving the offer on Oct. 26, 2019, it took the Green Oaks product 48 hours to make up his mind.
The decision to commit to LSU at such an early stage in his recruitment was based on the family atmosphere he felt when around the program.
"Ever since I was little, I've always wanted to play for LSU," Crawford said. "Getting the offer from the Tigers was a big deal to me and everybody around here is excited for it. I chose LSU because that's where I feel at home at and they've showed me a lot of love."
Being from the same town and going to the same high school, White and Crawford have had the chance to meet on numerous occasions.
"He just tells me to keep working and it's all going to pay off in the end," Crawford said. "He says LSU will treat you like family and that he can't wait to see what I do there to help represent where we're from."
Just down the road, about a 10 minute drive from Shreveport is Bossier City, where LSU star receiver Terrace Marshall grew up and helped guide the Tigers to a national championship in 2019 with 47 receptions and 13 touchdowns. It's Marshall that's really become a great mentor for Crawford, who says the two probably talk every week.
"We can relate to each other because we both play wide receiver," Crawford said. "He was telling me how the game is going to feel, how the route running is a step up and how precise they are. In the SEC you've got the best DB's in the country so I know that I have to continue to get better."
Crawford is part of a 2022 class that is already shaping up to be one of the top in the country. In addition to Crawford, LSU has landed commitments from quarterback Walker Howard, cornerback Khamauri Rogers and safeties Bryce Anderson and Bryan Allen.
With Howard being the future quarterback and Crawford a future receiver, the two have talked about what it'll be like to play with one another at the next level.
"We have a nice bond and I feel like everybody is going to stay committed because everybody's locked in about it," Crawford said. "He [Howard] was just telling me we have to build that connection because we're going to be a big part of the future of the program. He wants me to get with him soon so we can maybe get some routes in."
What's made the 2021 class so special early is the group's determination to try and get as many top notch players to join them as possible. That's something Crawford and the 2022 class are starting to do as well.
Louisiana is expected to be a deep class in terms of talent and with players like offensive lineman Will Campbell, receiver Shazz Preston and running back Leveon Moss still uncommitted, Crawford said he's doing his part to convince those players to join the Tigers.
"I've been reaching out to a couple of players out in Texas and California," Crawford said. "I've been reaching out to Armani Winfield, Will Campbell, I really want those guys to commit."
Building the relationship with the LSU staff has been what Crawford has focused on primarily in regards to his recruitment. He'll reach out often to either receivers coach Mickey Joseph or coach Ed Orgeron.
"It's really fun getting to talk to them and we've built a great relationship," Crawford said. "They think I'm one of the best receivers in my grade in Louisiana, they think I got that dog mentality, I can run routes and I got great speed, which is what they're looking for in a receiver."
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound receiver hasn't run the 40-yard dash in quite a bit but has been clocked in the past with a 4.5 second time. The offseason has been about adding weight and getting stronger by spending copious amounts of time in the gym and also trying to improve his conditioning.
From a skills perspective, Crawford is taking what Marshall told him to heart as he's working on footwork and route running through hours of cone and latter drills.
Moving forward, Crawford said he plans to use one of his official visits on LSU as well as Kansas and Alabama. Those other two visits are more for the experience as the Green Oaks receiver is 100% committed to the Tigers.
It goes back to that winning culture that Orgeron and his staff have built in Baton Rouge in very little time.
"Growing up, LSU would win a lot of games but they wouldn't make it to the championship," Crawford said. "The fact that they won the championship last year proved to me that they are moving in the right direction. I think that kind of success is going to keep going once I get there and I think we'll be in the championship mix every year."