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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football: #20 Shaun Crawford, Defensive Back

Been a long time coming for him to get back on the field

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Texas
I know this game was awful, but notice all of the Texas surrender cobras in the background LOL
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2019 season.

#20 Shaun Crawford, Nickel

Shaun Crawford has been a human interest story for the Fighting Irish. This will be his fifth year with the program. The dude has been a battler and a fighter. Shaun Crawford was an up-and-coming member of the defense and secondary since 2015. He had to step up in a big way once the defense lost the likes of Jaylon Smith and Romeo Okwara after a 10-3 campaign that season. It looked like he would play right away. Unfortunately, Crawford did not see the field in his freshman season of 2015 because he suffered through a torn ACL before the season began.

That would start a string of two more season-ending injuries (three total) that no one should ever have to suffer. In 2016, Crawford saw game action in just the first two games, against Texas and Nevada. In that Nevada game, he tore his Achilles tendon, sidelining him for the rest of the season. So, in two seasons, he did not even play in two, full games. He also had another knee injury before last season started, so he saw no game action in 2018 either.

Fortunately, Shaun was able to play in the 2017 season, and it was a doozy for him. He had 32 tackles, 20 of which were solo. He also recorded two fumble recoveries and two interceptions in an awesome season. It was a breakout season that was 3 seasons in the making. Shaun, because of his injuries, has two years of eligibility left because he was granted a medical 5th and 6th year option.

NCAA Football: Navy at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, or Chicago

“22” by Taylor Swift

Why, you ask? Why not?! Shaun will turn 22 this year, so he will be playing college football at 22 years old. Also, we are thankful he will have 1-2 seasons to show us more of his skill to avenge his injuries. “22” is a great party jam, and Shaun will show us the party that will be his play during the 2019 season.

Hey Dog HEY!

Australian Shepherd

Dogs Dress Up For Annual Tompkins Square Park Halloween Parade Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

A quick Google search revealed that Australian Shepherds are one of the breeds of dogs that live the longest. Since Shaun Crawford has sustained three injuries, he is still ready to go to get the season going even in his age/playing time left.

2019 Outlook

There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding Shaun Crawford and his immediate future at Notre Dame. That uncertainty, however, is solely based upon prior injuries. Basically... can Crawford stay healthy over the course of the 2019 season? As of right now, all indications point towards a full recovery — and Brian Kelly recently confirmed that Shaun is on the active roster as a 5th year senior.

As long as Crawford is healthy, he will retain his starting job at the nickel — a position he has been able to claim TOP DOG status since his freshman year. He was Notre Dame’s biggest playmaker on defense from that position in 2017, and would be a huge shot in the arm for a squad that has struggled mightily in their search for another nickel.

Let’s look at this optimistically and say Crawford is healthy for the entirety of the 2019 season, and he could very well be that big time playmaker once more.

NCAA Football: Navy at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

YouTube Hot Fire

2 of the greatest things in here:

-The PAT return against Texas

-And my personal favorite, the punch out and fumble recovery against Sparty to preserve the gigantic lead the Irish kept that whole night