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Dynamic 2019 Athlete Quavaris Crouch Signs With Tennessee

(Photo via Chip Case/The Charlotte Observer)

Tennessee has closed the 2019 early signing period with a bang.

Four-star 2019 athlete Quavaris Crouch announced on Friday evening that he has signed with Tennessee in the 2019 class. The dynamic two-way athlete chose the Vols over Clemson and Michigan as his finalists.

Crouch had originally decided to sign during the early signing period and then announce his school of choice during the Army All-American game on January 5th. But because of the fear that it would be leaked before then, Crouch decided to go ahead and make his college intentions known on Friday.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Charlotte, North Carolina native gives Tennessee its 19th signee of the 2019 class. According to 24Ssports, Crouch is ranked as the No. 39 overall player in the country and the No. 2 athlete in the industry-generated composite rankings. He’s rated as the No. 1 player in the state of North Carolina. He played for Harding University in high school, and he played as both a running back and linebacker.

Crouch had long been considered a Clemson lean due to that program’s recent success. Throughout the process, Crouch made it known that he wanted no part of a rebuild when he got to college. Tennessee’s win’s over top 25 teams such as Auburn and Kentucky during the season helped convey to him that maybe Jeremy Pruitt’s rebuild won’t take as long as it initially appeared.

Sam Greiner, Crouch’s former head coach at Harding and current mentor, spoke with RTI back when Crouch took an official visit to Knoxville during Tennessee’s game against Kentucky. At the time, he said Crouch might not want to wait a very long time to be a part of a winning program.

But things changed for the dynamic athlete.

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“I don’t know if he wants to wait till his third year,” Griener said of Crouch’s thoughts on waiting to compete for championships. “I think that if he feels like Tennessee can compete in their conference and win their side of the conference by next year or the year after that, then I think that definitely holds more weight.

“They’re definitely making huge strides from last year to this year with the new staff, and I think it’s fast forwarded an extra year than what was anticipated. And that’s why he’s kinda excited about Tennessee.”

Greiner accompanied Crouch on visits to Knoxville throughout his recruitment. According to Griener, Tennessee tight ends coach Brian Niedermeyer has been instrumental in Crouch’s recruitment.

“Brian Niedermeyer does a phenomenal job,” Griener stated. “He’s the new up-and-coming superstar in the recruiting game in my opinion.”

Crouch played both running back and linebacker in high school, but it’s expected he’ll get his first shot at linebacker in college. The Vols could use someone with his play-making ability at either position, but Crouch seems more open to playing linebacker at the next level than running back.

Looking at Crouch’s film, it’s easy to see why analysts and coaches love Crouch. He tough as nails on both sides of the ball and has exceptional speed for a linebacker. He’s very fast for his size as a running back, too. He’s explosive on defense and is extremely hard to bring down on offense. Even if he switches to defense as his primary position in college, he should still get some “beast package” carries on offense because of how effective he is as a runner.

As a junior, Crouch nearly set a record for most rushing yards in a single season in the county he plays in. Last year, he ran for 3,283 yards and 33 touchdowns, and that included a performance in which he totaled 334 yards on just 21 carries. That performance was good enough for the 14th-most yards in a single game in Mecklenburg County history. The record for the most rushing yards in a single season in county history came from Elijah Hood in 2013 when he ran for 3,609 yards. Hood went on to have a successful career with North Carolina in college and has bounced around in the NFL.

But as stated above, Crouch doesn’t just play running back. He also played linebacker for Harding, and even in his more limited time on defense he still totaled 48 tackles and 14 sacks.

If Crouch could have that type of production in just one year as a linebacker, then another few years learning the position from UT’s coaches should greatly benefit him.

In his senior year, Crouch suffered a minor injury while playing running back. He played very sparingly in his final year of high school, and that’s a reason why he dropped in recruiting rankings.

Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt also thinks Crouch should try linebacker instead of running back in college.

“He’s (Pruitt) told Quavaris, ‘Honestly, if you were my own son, I would consider your best opportunity is probably going to be inside linebacker,'” Greiner said. “The running back life is not as great as a linebacker’s, and (Pruitt) told him that, and he’s very honest about that.”

Following the Army All-American Bowl on January 5th, Crouch will enroll at Tennessee after graduating from high school early. With the addition of Crouch, the Vols’ 2019 signing class sits just outside of the top 10 on all recruiting services.

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