When quarterback L.D. Crow committed to the Cardinal in May, that hardly marked the end of his story. In the thick of his spring football at Clearwater (Fla.) Countryside High School, the 6'3" signal caller and his teammates still had their Spring Game to play against defending Class 2B state champions Ocala (Fla.) Trinity Catholic. The Celtics were undefeated champs in 2005 with a 14-0 record and boast the Sunshine State's top-rated quarterback in John Brantley. Billed as a battle between two of Florida's finest quarterbacks, the game instead proved to be a demonstration of the talent level of their teammates, with Trinity Catholic clubbing Countryside in a 41-27 decision.
"I will say that they are a very good team," Crow relates. "We did get some things accomplished. We have some young players and we're putting in a new defense."
Given the talent of the Trinity Catholic defense, it is somewhat remarkable that Crow was able to throw for 260 yards on 14-of-26 passing in two-plus quarters (before giving way to junior varsity players). The Stanford-bound slinger threw for three touchdowns, two of which were 75-plus yards.
"He's very accurate, and he makes very good decisions with the ball. Last year, his touchdown-to-interception ratio was 11-2, and you can see why when watching him play," says Scout.com Florida analyst Mike Bakas, who was in attendance at the spring jamboree. "Plus, he's fundamentally sound in his drops, in his throws, etc. He's been well coached and he's a coachable kid."
He tossed one interception and was sacked twice. The interception came when Crow threw as he was hit by a pass rusher. Bakas says that the future Pac-10 passer can work on his play under pressure.
"He needs to get stronger and get more comfortable in the pocket when he has defenders in his face," Bakas offers. "The best college quarterbacks today aren't the most talented ones. They're the ones who are best when they have two 270-pound defensive ends about to nail them."
"I've been working on making reads a lot faster and being more aware of the field," Crow comments. "We have a young line, and the decisions have to be faster. I have to get rid of the ball faster."
Crow has improved his pocket mobility and awareness, however. The rushes he faced could have netted more sacks, if not for some nimble footwork and decisions.
"I did have a few runs. I finished the game with net plus-10 yards," Crow reports. "Last year, I don't think I ran at all. I need to know when to move in the pocket to be successful."
This weekend could be an experience that helps L.D. Crow immensely as he molds his future success. He is on campus at Stanford today, and Saturday and Sunday will camp with the Cardinal. This will be the first time that Crow can work with Walt Harris in person, and he could not be more excited for the opportunity.
"I have so many things to work on. Being complete as a quarterback is my goal," the Floridian offers. "Being around him will help that. Anything that he points out, I will take home and work on as much as I can."
"This will be good for me, not only because I can build a relationship with my next head coach, but also Coach Harris is the quarterbacks coach," Crow adds. "We talk just about every weekend."
Crow and his parents flew yesterday and today will take a tour of the campus, later meeting with the Cardinal coaches. And come Saturday and Sunday, you will not find this quarterback's parents carry shopping bags at the famous Stanford Shopping Center. Mom and Dad will have their eyes glued to every minute of camp.
"They haven't missed a game or anything since I was eight years old," the son reports.
On and off the field, Crow will also be throwing more than just passes this weekend. He is also anxious to recruit more talent to join him in this Cardinal recruiting class. Stanford recruits more nationally and less regionally than almost any other Division I school in the nation, which puts a unique importance upon their camp for evaluation opportunities. Several key recruits have come from Stanford's camp in recent years, including last year's quarterback signee, Alex Loukas.
"Stanford doesn't just throw around scholarship offers, so there aren't a lot of guys in my area," Crow notes. "But there are some receivers coming, and I'll be throwing to those guys. It should be fun."
It is a busy summer for the Countryside quarterback, with camps and seven-on-seven work with his team. He lifts from 8-10am each morning, takes a break during the hottest middle of the day and then returns to throw with his team from 3-5pm.
"You've got to love the humidity here," he chuckles. "I'm really looking forward to a little bit of California weather."
After Stanford camp this weekend, he will rejoin his teammates as they head to North Carolina State for their team camp. Countryside head coach John Davis had his son Jay Davis just finish his five-year career with the Wolfpack, during which time the elder Davis has made countless trips and taken innumerable notes from the West Coast offense run in Raleigh.
The Crow family also recently made a trip to Wyoming, during which time the Stanford commit started worked toward his admission to the University.
"That application is giant," Crow remarks with a laugh. "While we were in Wyoming, I had written down some of the [essay] questions to think about, to help me get ideas and a feel for what I will write."
Another component of the four-pronged Stanford application is a standardized test score, and he recently made an effort toward that as well. His April SAT score came back with a 1610, which he wants to improve. The bad news was that he missed the cut-off to sign up for the June test date, after receiving that score and determining the need for a retake. Undeterred, Crow showed up at a test center on June 3 and was able to sit down as a stand-by.
"They were able to take me," he informs. "I was going to take it again in the fall, so why not take it now if I can? I'll take it as many times as I need to. It seems like it's easier each time you take it."
The June 3 SAT scores are not yet available, but will be any day now. We will check back with Crow soon for not only that result, but also a full report on his weekend camping with the Cardinal and all his latest in this busy and formative summer.
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