ROCKINGHAM — In front of a packed Raider Gymnasium, Tyrone Crowder slipped on his new jersey and plopped a hat on his head.
The offensive lineman, who is the 97th-ranked recruit in the 2013 class nationally by ESPN, wasn’t making his college decision, instead Crowder became the first Richmond Senior football player to be selected to the sixth-annual Under Armour All-America Game Jan. 5 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“This is an honor,” Crowder said. “It’s a great thing to be picked and to get to play with all the great players.”
Richmond coach Paul Hoggard was pleased for Crowder and thought the announcement would give a boost to the Raiders.
“I’m happy for Tyrone, he has worked so hard and he deserves it,” Hoggard said. “I think it brings national exposure to the program. I think state-wide we have a great reputation and people know about Richmond, but this helps get us national exposure.”
Crowder and his Under Armour teammates will begin their week practicing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, before making the hour-long bus trip west for the game at Tropicana Field.
“I wouldn’t say I’m nervous about playing against those players,” Crowder said. “I would say I’m excited. It gives me a chance to showcase my talents.”
Being one of 27 players who hasn’t made a commitment to a school yet, Crowder was told he could make his college announcement during the nationally televised event if he wanted. Crowder said he isn’t sure when he plans on making his decision. Right now, Crowder has whittled down his choices from more than 15 to Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina and Stanford.
Crowder continues to keep a tight lip about his recruiting and his brother, Calvin McManus, said he isn’t even sure which way Crowder is leaning at this point.
“With him, that’s kind of the way it is,” McManus said laughing. “It really is iffy to say right now.”
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org