Crawford received the award for displaying exemplified courage as a football student-athlete. Crawford graduated from Fort Wayne South H.S. in 1996, where he played for Coach Mark Bailey. After high school graduation, he worked in an automotive factory before joining the Marine Corps in 1999. He went to Military Occupational Specialties School and then to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock, N.C. Crawford received an honorary discharge from the Marine Corps in 2003, and enrolled at Ball State in the summer of 2004. He returned home to Fort Wayne in the fall of 2004 before coming back to Ball State in the fall of 2006.
In 2006, as a Ball State freshman, Crawford played in 10 games to earn his first letter. As a sophomore in 2007, he started all 13 games and was named to the All-Mid-American Conference Third Team. Crawford helped Ball State to a 7-6 overall record, and the school's first postseason bowl appearance -- the International Bowl -- since 1996. He ranked sixth on the team in tackles with 60 plus led the Cardinals in tackles for loss with 17 and sacks with eight. Crawford blocked a potential game-winning field goal at Navy in the final play of regulation, which propelled Ball State to a 34-31 overtime win over the Midshipmen.
Ball State will open the 2008 season Aug. 28, with a Thursday night home game at Scheumann Stadium vs. Northeastern. The Cardinals will host Navy Friday, Sept. 5, in a 7 p.m. game nationally televised on ESPN.