10/15/2020 3:02 PM
The Columbus Lions have gone local again during the 2020 offseason, this time bringing back a familiar face from past seasons, defensive lineman Corey Crawford. Crawford played three seasons with the Lions before his return this year.
Crawford played high school football at G.W. Carver High School, only 11 minutes down the road from the Lions home arena. Crawford was a force in high school, and his accolades speak for themselves. He was named the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Defensive Player of the Year, Columbus Ledger Defensive Player of the Year as well as first-team AAA all-state by the Georgia Sportswriters Association and first-team all region.
Crawford was dominant in his senior season, recording 87 tackles and 16 sacks along with two recovered and two interceptions. He was ranked the No. 20 defensive end in the country and No. 30 player in Georgia by Rivals. Crawfords ability earned him a scholarship to Clemson University in 2011.
Crawford’s transition to the college level was seamless and he made an immediate impact at Clemson. He got playing time in all 14 games his freshman year and continues to improve every year.
He was preseason third-team All-ACC before his junior and senior seasons and was invited to the Senior Bowl. Crawford was a consistent force on the Clemson defensive front his entire college career. In his four years at Clemson, Crawford had 123 total tackles, 25.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks, one interception, two fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown.
Following his graduation, the 6’5 290 pound defensive lineman went undrafted and went to camp for the Washington Redskins. Crawford eventually found a spot with Columbus Lions in 2016 and once again made an immediate impact. Crawford spent three years with the Lions and during the 2018 season, he recorded 20.5 tackles, including four for loss, as well as four sacks.
After a productive year with Lions Crawford joined the Carolina Cobras then attempted to move to the AAF but neither worked out. Eventually, Crawford was taken by Houston Roughnecks in the 2020 XFL draft and earned a starting job on the defensive line for Houston.
After the XFL shut down, Crawford was once again a free agent and the Lions were able to re-sign him. Crawford brings a lot of experience and talent to this Columbus Lions defense.
“Corey is a dominant player and we are lucky to have him returning to Columbus,” said head Coach Jason Gibson. “I can’t say enough about him as a player and a person. He brings experience and leadership that we will need to make another run at a 4th championship.”
Crawford has been a dominant player ever since his days at G.W. Carver and he will look to continue this pattern of success for the Lions during the 2021 season.
ABOUT THE COLUMBUS LIONS
The Columbus Lions are members of the National Arena League (NAL). Founded in 2007, the Columbus Lions are starting their 15th season in 2021. The Lions are a 3x league champion and 13 playoff appearances in their rich history. The Lions play their home games at Hughston Field in the Columbus Civic Center. Lions Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now call (706) 322-3336 or visit columbuslions.com. Follow the Lions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Lionsfootball/, twitter @columbuslions and instagram.com/Columbuslions.
ABOUT NATIONAL ARENA LEAGUE
The National Arena League was founded in 2016 and hosted its inaugural season in 2017 as the premier league in arena football. The National Arena League will kick off its fifth season in 2021. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner Chris Siegfried at [email protected] For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.com, facebook.com/nationalarenaleauge, twitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/nationalarenaleague