Athlete of the Week September 20th - Cory Crawford

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PALMETTO - Cory Crawford of Palmetto high School came into his senior season expecting to be one of their top receivers and go-to guys for their offense. A funny thing happened on the way to game two.

What happened were injuries to the Tiger’s two top running backs. So Crawford was asked to step in in the middle of their opener against Rivierview High. All he did was gain 115 yards in just over a half.

“Cory has that ability to make a bad play into a great play, so you know, it's just a pleasure, and it's a gift and a blessing from God to be able to have such a great athlete playing for you,” says Palmetto head football coach Dave Marino.

What he has done since then may be more amazing. He had 237 yards rushing on 11 carries against Sarasota High, and then 156 yards on just 9 carries last week against Braden River -- and his final 3 carries went for touchdowns.

“They love me. I love them and…I know I’m going to stay back there now that Josh (Hicks) had to move to defense. He was like ‘why change something if it ain't broken?’ So he told me to finish it out at running back,” says Crawford.

Amazingly, with 500 yards rushing in 3 games, the though was that when Josh Hicks or Leon Gilbert return to the backfield, Crawford might go back to wide receiver. So which is his better position? “We will see what happens over the next month as the season unfolds as a running back, and if he continues to play at this high level, how many more schools will be interested in him as a running back that weren't previously?” says Coach Marino.

Congratulations to Cory Crawford, wide receiver/running back for the Palmetto Tigers. He is our ABC 7 Athlete of the Week.