Notre Dame is coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Texas Longhorns in Week 1 and the woes continue with a blow to their defense. Per Kathryn Tapper of NBC Sports, defensive back Shaun Crawford suffered a torn Achilles during the first quarter of the Fighting Irish’s contest versus the Nevada Wolfpack on Saturday.
Crawford is a skilled sophomore, who garnered a ton of recognition out of St. Edward (Ohio) High School. He came out of his class rated as the No. 63 player in the nation and the No. 6 cornerback on Rivals.com’s 250 list. Crawford wasn’t able to contribute to the defense last season due to an ACL injury in August that sidelined him for the entire year. It is a shame, too, because defensive coordinator Bob VanGorder touched on Crawford’s passion and positive mentality once he went down.
“Through the injury and offseason, he’s what I call an ‘obsessed player,’ ” VanGorder told ND Insider. “He’s always studying the game. He’s all in. He’s obviously much different now than he was then. He’s a real football player. He’s got it all. I’m glad he’s here at Notre Dame.”
As for head coach Brian Kelly, he alludes to how Crawford has altered his recruiting scheme in the secondary.
“Now we have recruited to that [defensive scheme in the secondary] through a third year of that, and we have that kind of personnel. It’s young, but it fits the defense now. That’s why there’s a great deal of optimism that these pieces fit much better.”