It’s no secret that Kentucky had to get faster at the receiver position going into the 2021 season. Signing hometown star Dekel Crowdus was a priority for Mark Stoops. The 5’10, 180-pound speedster is acclimating to college football in Lexington and could hear his name called for first-year playing time. KSR caught up with Crowdus on Media Day. There’s a great deal to be excited about the potential of Crowdus contributing in the vertical pass game.
“I Made the Right Decision”
Crowdus accumulated 91 career catches for 1505 yards and 22 scores in high school. He was rated as a 4-star recruit by 247Sports and the number three prospect in Kentucky. Crowdus was also named as the 51st best receiver in the Class of 2021 after finishing the recruiting cycle as the nation’s 300th ranked prospect. The Frederick Douglass product signed with Kentucky over Oklahoma, Ohio State, Texas, Michigan, and several others. He indicated on Media Day that he made the right decision to sign with UK, “I’m very happy honestly. It was the right decision I made. I’m pretty comfortable here with the guys.”
Bigger, Stronger, Faster
One concern about the receiver’s transition from high school to college was his size. However, a productive offseason has prepared him to compete for playing time as a true freshman. Crowdus credits UK Director of Performance Corey Edmond and Head Strength Coach Mark Hill in transforming his body. “Coach Ed and I have been putting the work in to get faster and stronger to build up extra, top-end speed. Since I got here, I’ve put on 15 pounds. Speed wise, I’ve been getting faster and faster. I’m working harder and harder every day.”
Offensive coordinator Liam Coen has placed a premium on speed at the receiver position. Crowdus provides that element to the passing game. When asked about the strength of his game, Crowuds answered, “Top notch speed. Catching the football. Making plays, making explosive plays. I’m very excited to show them (coaches) what I can do by catching deep balls, making plays, helping the team.” There are a multitude of ways that UK can utilize Dekel’s skill set. Jet sweep actions, vertical shots, and the return game are all options.
What Does All This Mean?
Offensive coordinator Liam Coen was brought to Lexington to modernize and enhance Kentucky’s passing game. Identifying a receiver rotation that will influence opposing defenses to loosen the run box is be a priority. Wan’Dale Robinson and Josh Ali are definite starters and proven entities. But, the receiver depth chart is somewhat fluid behind that duo. Dekel Crowdus will compete for playing time in a crowded receiver room that will yet again be under the microscope in 2021. Adding 15-pounds and an increase in speed could set Crowdus up to be in the mix.