When a player leaves the Georgia football program in shame, as running back Isaiah Crowell did a couple of years ago, head coach Mark Richt wants to see them go on to reach their dreams.
“I believe in stories of redemption and stories of guys coming back from making mistakes,” Richt said in 2013. “What I’ve learned over the years is that I’d kind of like for it to happen here at Georgia, but sometimes it happens at another school. That’s fine with me. I realize that those kind of comeback stories can happen. I want all the guys we sign to realize their dreams.”
This may indeed be one of those stories.
After being dismissed by Richt after several incidents, including a felony gun-related charge (which was later dropped), Crowell went on to transfer to FCS school Alabama State, and was then picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Cleveland Browns this year.
Entering the NFL as a UDFA can be a tough thing. Nobody expects much of you, and you have to go out and prove yourself every day, every practice and every drill. The odds are against you, and it’s an uphill climb.
But Crowell welcomed the challenge and has made a big change in his life since his dark days in Athens, and he credits Mark Richt for a lot of that change.
In an interview with Bleacher Report’s Andrew Hall., Crowell talked about how he’s matured since leaving the University of Georgia.
“At Georgia I was kind of childish. I feel like if I’d stayed there and got to the NFL I wouldn’t be as mature as I am now. I think the arrest and everything grounded me and made me humble.”
Now that he’s in the NFL, he’s making a quick name for himself with the Browns. According to FoxSports.com, the Browns are looking at Crowell as a “keeper”. Given the talent Cleveland already has at running back with Ben Tate and Terrance West, that’s a pretty good sign for Crowell.
It’s hard not to root for a guy who used to wear the Red & Black, as long as he’s not taking the field against the Dawgs. We wish Isaiah Crowell all the best in his NFL career.