Eighth in a sequence of tales profiling prime highschool soccer gamers by place. Right this moment, Maliki Crawford, Oxnard Pacifica defensive again.
Maliki Crawford’s 79-inch arm-span isn’t fairly the 12.1-foot wingspan of the wandering albatross, however don’t inform that to the receivers attempting to catch passes after he makes use of his attain to make a deflection.
These lengthy arms assist make him the rarest of cornerbacks, together with one other distinctive bodily trait — his 6-foot-4 peak.
He smiles and laughs when requested if he thinks he’s too tall to play cornerback.
“I don’ know what to say about that question,” he stated. “I just play football.”
Crawford’s lengthy arms, agility, quickness and athleticism put receivers on discover that he’s a defensive again able to be examined and challenged, decided not to again down from anybody.
“I found myself having to prove myself, which is cool,” he stated. “I don’t have a problem with that.”
Crawford’s dimension is so intriguing that there are infinite potentialities as to what he may be capable to accomplish in soccer if he continues to show he can cowl receivers of all sizes and shapes.
“A lot of people don’t think we can backpedal,” Crawford stated.
Faculty recruiters have provided Crawford quite a lot of observations. Some assume his dimension may end in him turning into an excellent security. Others assume so long as his mobility retains enhancing, he’ll be a much-desired cornerback. He ended up committing to USC this month.
Bucky Brooks, the soccer coach at Granada Hills Excessive and a former NFL defensive again, stated Crawford’s dimension will end in a number of debate and dialogue. One of many few 6-4 cornerbacks to excel within the NFL was Brandon Browner. Among the best corners is 6-3 Richard Sherman.
“At 6-4, you’re salivating,” Brooks stated. “His traits make him an intriguing prospect.”
Brooks stated so long as Crawford’s agility retains progressing, he’ll be a lot in demand to cowl the tall, athletic receivers beginning to take over the professional sport.
“I’ll say this — any cornerback over 6 feet tall is really coveted,” Brooks stated. “A kid who’s 6-4 would be appealing if he has movement skills. You just don’t get guys with that kind of length.”
Pacifica coach Mike Moon stated one other constructive for Crawford is his willingness to take heed to coaches.
“He’s a great kid,” Moon stated. “He just wants to grow, learn and develop.”
One other benefit for Crawford is he can use his physicality to delay smaller receivers from working their sample, jamming them on the line of scrimmage whereas creating time for defensive linemen to get to the quarterback earlier than anybody is open.
“Coming into this season, my goal is to have double-digit interceptions,” he stated.
His profile is anticipated to rise since Pacifica ought to be one of many prime groups in Ventura County and go on a protracted successful streak if the Tritons get previous their first two opponents, Westlake Village Westlake and Ventura St. Bonaventure.
No matter occurs, it’s going to be enjoyable seeing Crawford use his distinctive dimension to check himself towards quite a lot of receivers attempting to determine methods to flee his shadow.
Defensive backs to observe
Title, Faculty, Ht, Wt, Yr, Remark
Daylen Austin, Lengthy Seaside Poly, 6-2, 180, Sr. — LSU commit follows lengthy custom of prime Poly cornerbacks
Sean Brown, Simi Valley, 6-3, 195, Sr. — Arizona commit has glorious agility for his dimension
Zabien Brown, Santa Ana Mater Dei, 6-2, 180, Jr. — Might be counted on to carry out at highest degree
Maliki Crawford, Oxnard Pacifica, 6-4, 180, Sr. — Dimension, athleticism, instincts make him distinctive
Vincent Holmes, San Jacinto, 6-2, 170, Sr. — Washington commit has pace, energy
Marquis Gallegos, West Hills Chaminade, 6-1, 170, Jr. — Had 4 interceptions as a sophomore
Ty Lee, Bellflower St. John Bosco, 6-3, 190, Sr. — UCLA commit has closing pace at security
Christian Pierce, Rancho Cucamonga, 6-2, 170, Sr. — USC commit is hitter at security
Rodrick Nice, Gardena Serra, 5-11, 180, Sr. — Quickest in California and doesn’t get crushed
Peyton Woodyard, St. John Bosco, 6-2, 188, Jr. — Security with character, toughness, quickness
Tomorrow: Aidan Flintoft, Westlake Village Oaks Christian punter and kicker.