UM notebook

Patience paying off for hard-working Miami Hurricanes running back Dallas Crawford

 
 
Miami's Dallas Crawford celebrates after rushing 7 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter during the University of Miami vs the University of South Florida football game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Saturday, September 28, 2013.
Miami's Dallas Crawford celebrates after rushing 7 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter during the University of Miami vs the University of South Florida football game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Saturday, September 28, 2013.
Al Diaz / Miami Herald Staff

sdegnan@MiamiHerald.com

His Twitter account profile says “Just young dude out of Fort Myers trying to make it!!”

Hurricanes running back Dallas Crawford, who leads Miami with six touchdowns, is doing just that.

Crawford has scored five of the 20 times he has carried the ball this season — once against FAU, twice against Savannah State and twice at USF.

His 5-yard touchdown catch came against Savannah State.

Crawford, a compact 5-10 and 194 pounds, can tackle, too. He has four on special teams.

The redshirt sophomore’s highlight last year?

A 9-yard interception return on a botched Bethune-Cookman punt.

“Amazing,” is how coach Al Golden on Monday described Crawford’s growth this season. “Dallas is a competitor now. Two of those runs, I mean we don’t have them all blocked and he’s going to find a way to get in.

“He’s tough as nails. He goes down there on a kickoff and makes a tackle inside the 20. He’s getting better every week.”

Finally, after spending much of his early career on the scout team impersonating the opposing teams’ quarterbacks, receivers and running backs, Crawford is flourishing.

“I’m blessed to be in this position,” Crawford said Saturday after scoring twice in the win at USF. “It feels good — just executing my role on offense right now. My hard work is paying off.

“Patience is the key.’’

Crawford has solidified his spot as backup to Duke Johnson, his role, at times, as a short-yardage and goal-line specialist especially important with tailback Eduardo Clement nursing a hamstring injury and likely out for Georgia Tech.

“Dallas is a hard-working guy that was just waiting for his chance to play,” Johnson said. “He’s doing a great job. He’s a tough runner for his size. He doesn’t go down on first contact. He trusts his eyes.

“Dallas doesn’t say too much. He’s just happy to have an opportunity to play.”

Golden: ‘BYOB’

Freshman Gus “the Bus’’ Edwards has the best average-per-carry among the tailbacks (6.6 yards), but still hasn’t scored a touchdown after several attempts near the goal line.

“He’s got to BYOB — be [your] own blocker,” Golden said. “When you get down there you can’t block them all down there. He’s too big not to get in, so he’s got to run over his pads and torpedo and find a soft spot and get in there. Don’t go down the middle of [USF linebacker] DeDe Lattimore. That ain’t going to work.”

Tucker on standby

Golden said previously that freshman Walter Tucker would likely redshirt.

But because of Clements’ injury, Tucker is now the No. 2 fullback to Maurice Hagens on the newest depth chart. He’s also the No. 4 tailback.

“Has to be,” Golden said. “We don’t have much depth there.”

Injury report

Besides Clements, cornerback Nate Dortch, who wore a walking boot on his right foot, is out, as well as guard Danny Isidora (foot) and receiver Rashawn Scott (shoulder/collarbone). Linebacker Jermaine Grace (oblique) was limited.

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