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June 5, 2005
Florida lineman favors out of state options
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Kareem Cromwell knows that some of the best college football in the country is played within the boundaries of his home state. Despite the tremendous football allure of the Sunshine State, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive tackle/offensive tackle prospect from Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby said he's currently favoring playing his college football somewhere else.
"I have ten offers right now," Cromwell said. "Louisville, Illinois, Ole Miss, Iowa State, Auburn, Nebraska, North Carolina, Marshall, Indiana and one or two more have offered. I'd say that Louisville, Auburn, and Indiana are probably recruiting me the hardest, but I'm hearing a lot from all of the coaches."
"I've been thinking that I want to leave the state of Florida, but I don't know where yet. I've been here all of my life. I just want the chance to get out and see other places."
Cromwell caught the attention of college coaches from all over the country with a strong junior year on the gridiron and a solid showing at the recent NIKE Football Training Camp in Tallahassee.
A starter at defensive tackle, Cromwell earned second-team All-Big Bend (Tri-County area) in 2004 after racking up 59 tackles, six sacks, and 11 tackles for loss.
As a starting offensive tackle, Cromwell helped pave the way for running back Roy Upchurch (signed with Alabama) to rush for over 2,500 yards.
"I'm getting recruited for both positions, but I think I'm best on the defensive line," Cromwell said. "The way I pursue to the ball separates me from other players I think. On offense, I'm big, fast and have pretty good footwork and am able to move well."
Cromwell showed off his footwork and agility at the NIKE Camp, carrying his 290-pound frame over 40-yards in just 5.2-seconds.
"I think I did good at the NIKE camp," Cromwell said. "I think I had to be one of the top defensive tackles there. I felt good about what I did. In one-on-one drills I was one of the few guys who couldn't be stopped."
"I did 18 reps in the bench (185 pounds). I can normally max out at 310 pounds, but my shoulder is a little injured and was bothering me at the camp. I plan to rest it and get it better over the summer."
This is a free sample of a Huskeronline.com recruiting update. Please click for a free 7-day trial membership.
Cromwell, who plans to camp at Georgia and Auburn this summer and possibly Florida and Clemson declines to name a group of favorites. He said his plan was to narrow his choices by the time school starts again in the fall.
"I'm open to all schools right now," Cromwell said. "As we get to the end of the summer and beginning of fall I'll start to narrow it down to a top six or seven schools."
"Right now, Louisville and Auburn might have a little bit of a lead just because I know most about them. My decision won't come until after the season though. I'll make sure I take all of my official visits before making my choice."
One school from the Midwest that Cromwell is taking a hard look at is the University of Nebraska.
"Coach (Phil) Elmassian and coach (John) Blake are recruiting me for Nebraska," Cromwell said. "Both are real nice guys and are recruiting me real hard. They are both real good coaches. Coach Blake has three Super Bowl rings."
"I've watched a couple of their (Nebraska) games in the past, but I don't know too much about them. That is what the recruiting process is about - to learn more about these schools. They are a possibility for a visit. I don't know yet. I've only got five trips. I'll plan to decide all of that in the fall sometime."
Cromwell said that his relationship with the coaching staff will go a long way in deciding his eventual college destination.
"I'm looking at how the coach is recruiting me and how the conversations go," Cromwell said. "I'll also look at the town, the depth charts, and what school I'll get the best education."
Right now, Cromwell is enjoying some rest and relaxation as classes recently completed at Godby. However, next week he and his teammates will begin preparations for the 2005 season.
"Next week, we have a program that starts that will involve weight lifting, running - the works. I'm just relaxing right now because I may not get another chance the rest of the summer."
Cromwell comments on other schools
Auburn: "They were 13-0 last year. They lost a lot of good players that went to the NFL. They have a hard nosed defense. They didn't sign any defensive tackles this year and said they only plan to sign two defensive tackles this year."
Louisville: "Our cornerback last year, E.K Sawyer, signed with them. He's telling me how good it is up there. Their defense finished in the top ten last season and they've got a real good football program too."
For more like the above, as well up-to-the-minute and thorough camp and practice reports, Husker team and recruiting analysis for football, baseball and basketball, our exclusive weekly TUNNEL TALK feature and comprehensive recruit videos. This was a free sample of a Huskeronline.com recruiting update. Please click for a free 7-day trial membership.