James Crawford Commits To Illinois

This photo will make sense once you read the post - Andy Lyons

Well this is a change of pace. Instead of losing a defensive back from our 2013 class the Illini got a surprise addition this weekend.

Hey, maybe things are starting to turn around. After losing two defensive backs from the 2013 class last week the Illini started the new week with a new commitment.

Safety James Crawford from St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale came to Champaign on a visit this weekend and committed right then and there.

"Coach Banks told me to come up for a visit. I didn't have an offer, but once I was on-campus I received it. I committed because of the depth chart and the possibility of early playing time," Crawford told Rivals.

He was hosted by fellow St. Thomas Aquinas alum Dami Ayoola and the 6'2 190-pound Crawford happens to be the nephew of former Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson. He had offers from Boise State and Northwestern, so suck it, Northwestern.

While I don't think the two-star Crawford will have nearly the kind of college career as his uncle -- though I'll take it! -- he could turn out to be useful. We just need bodies as it is, and while I don't see him getting any playing time this season barring a run of injuries, Crawford projects as a safety here. It's also possible he could replace Eric Finney at the Star position in a few years.

Of course, no matter what happens with Crawford, it's just nice to have players wanting to come here again. It was a long week.

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