Commentary

Thrown for a loss

Xavier Crawford proves being the nation's top recruit doesn't always spell success

Updated: February 2, 2011, 11:50 PM ET
By LaRue Cook | ESPN The Magazine
Xavier CrawfordSian Kennedy for ESPN The MagazineOnce the No. 1 recruit in the country, Crawford now resides in the Shelby County Jail.

Xavier Crawford bulldozes his way into the end zone from 11 yards out for the deciding score against Florida, and the hostile Swamp crowd goes silent. The X-Man and his unranked Memphis State Tigers are about to accomplish the unthinkable: Topple Emmitt Smith's Gators and the nation's top-ranked defense. Crawford trots back to the sideline and says to his teammates, "I told you so. I told you if you blocked for me we could beat these guys." As the clock ticks to zero, the scoreboard reads Memphis 17, Florida 11. Crawford is basking in the boos -- and then suddenly wakes up. His cell has never seemed smaller.

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