JUCO defensive tackle signs with Cats

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Junior-college defensive tackle Mark Crawford has signed a letter-of-intent to play football at the University of Kentucky, Coach Rich Brooks has announced.

The 6-1, 290-pound Crawford has graduated from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College. He will enroll at Kentucky in the coming week and participate in spring practice.

“We’re excited to have Mark join us,” Brooks said. “The defensive line was one of our strengths (in the 2008 season), and when you lose a tackle like Myron Pryor, it’s good to bring in a player with some college experience. Mark is a big, physical player and the best thing is that he has three years of eligibility.”

“You can’t go wrong being close to home and playing in the SEC,” Crawford said. “I liked the community and the coaching staff. I also like Coach Petri (defensive line coach Rick Petri) a lot. It really means something when you’ve coached a guy like Warren Sapp.”

Here is a biography of Crawford:

Mark Crawford, Defensive Tackle, 6-1, 290, So-JC, Indianapolis, Ind. (Coffeyville Community College/Ben Davis High School) – Will enroll at Kentucky in January and have three seasons of eligibility remaining … Redshirted as a freshman in 2007 at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College … In 2008 he played in eight games, totaling 41 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and one pass breakup … Had 6.5 quarterback sacks – an excellent number for a defensive tackle – leading the team in that category and ranking sixth in the Jayhawk Conference … Ranked No. 69 among the nation’s top 100 junior-college players by Rivals.com … Coached by Darian Dulin … “Mark’s strengths are his ‘get off the ball’ (ability) and ability to anticipate the snap count,” Dulin said. “He plays with a high motor and is hard to block. He uses his hands well, has good punch and runs well for an inside guy.” … Played his high-school football at Ben Davis HS in Indianapolis … Earned all-conference honors … Two-year starter at defensive tackle … Played youth league and middle-school football, but did not play his first two years of high school before resuming the game as a junior … High-school coach was Tom Allen … Also considered Louisville and Florida International before signing with Kentucky.