The Hurry Up: Dekel Crowdus Represents 2021 Wide Receivers in a Big Way at The Opening Finals

By Taylor Lehman on July 11, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Dekel Crowdus
Dekel Crowdus

The Hurry Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.

Dekel Crowdus Represents 2021 Receivers at The Opening Finals

Ohio State’s four committed wide receivers stole the show at The Opening Finals, taking most of the spotlight from top 2020 talent like Johnny Wilson and Demond Demas. But one 2021 talent stood out among the uber-talented 2020 class. Kentucky wideout Dekel Crowdus placed in the top-five at the position for his rating and played on the same 7-on-7 team as Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Crowdus is the top Kentucky prospect in the class and the No. 45 wide receiver in the class and placed in the 99th percentile in all five tests for wide receivers despite suffering from a minor injury. He ran the shuttle in 4.14 seconds and recorded a 44.3-inch vertical jump. His 40-yard dash time suffered because of his injury, but he recorded the fastest time at Ohio State’s camp in June with a 4.32.

That’s why Crowdus’ participation is significant to the Buckeyes. He played in their one-day camp June 15 and caught the eye of Brian Hartline, who remains in contact with him.

“I called him while I was there, and he was proud of me and said, ‘I’ve been seeing that you’ve been balling out at The Opening,’” Crowdus told Eleven Warriors.

Crowdus is a big-play threat for Frederick Douglass in Lexington. He averaged just over 22 yards per catch with 37 catches for 831 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

At 5-foot-10.5, 162 pounds, Crowdus has a small frame that will build as he matures, but he already has one of the top skillsets in his class and was the only 2021 wide receiver at the event last week.

On Team Pressure, Crowdus was able to play side-by-side with Smith-Njigba, which resulted in a bit of a relationship between the two.

“It was lit,” Crowdus said. “Me and him started to build a little bond. He’s cool, and he’s a great player. That’s my dawg.”

Crowdus wasn’t able to play as many snaps as Smith-Njigba because of his injury and because he was a 2021 wide receiver with likely another year to experience The Opening Finals. When he was on the field, though, he proved to be what he’s shown on his high school tape – tough to cover for any defensive back.

Luke Lachey Commits to Iowa

Columbus tight end Luke Lachey announced via Twitter on Wednesday evening that he has committed to Iowa. 

Lachey is best known to Ohio State fans as the son of former Buckeye tackle Jim Lachey, but Lachey has also been in recruiting discussions lately because he competed with Cincinnati tight end Joe Royer for an Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ one-day camp June 6.

Royer received his offer the next day and then committed to Ohio State on July 2.

With Iowa’s recent success in developing tight ends – T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant were both selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in April – some fans are concerned turning Lachey away might come back to hurt Ohio State. Seeing both tight ends compete in the camp June 6, it was fairly obvious that Royer was the most immediately prepared tight end for the Power Five level.

With that said, Lachey has the potential to develop into a productive pass-catching tight end. He just doesn't bring the versatility to block from the tight end position that Royer offers.

Dane Middlebrook Commits to Tulane

Indiana defensive lineman Dane Middlebrook, who was at one point in talks with Ohio State after receiving a Buckeye offer last July, committed to Tulane on Tuesday.

An extremely underrated defensive tackle with the ability to play anywhere along the interior of a defensive line, Middlebrook will make a good defensive line weapon for Tulane, but he never really proved to be impressive enough for a Power Five landing spot. 

His performance at The Opening Regionals in Massillon was fairly impressive. He just never developed the way Ohio State thought he might.

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