Quavaris Crouch
(Photo: Scout.com)

College coaches covet Quavaris Crouch because of his ability to be a difference-maker on either side of the ball.

So we’ll dive into that first.

As a junior, Crouch racked up 3,142 rushing yards en route to 31 touchdowns in helping lead Charlotte (N.C.) Harding University to a 4-A state championship. It was the school’s first title since 1953 and naturally Crouch was the game’s Most Valuable Player. The state’s Gatorade Player of the Year also tallied 42 tackles and 14 sacks when used in a limited role on defense.

Crouch has five-star traits whether you want to utilize him out of the backfield or as a pass rusher. Much like fellow 2019 recruit Bru McCoy, versatility is the name of the game.  

Crouch’s high school coach Sam Greiner compared the 6-foot-3, 238-pound Crouch to Leonard Fournette or Derrick Henry when describing his skills as a running back, but likes the blue-chipper even more as a Von Miller-type rushing off the edge as an outside linebacker.

“He’s no doubt the best running back in the country and if he chose to play running back in college he’d be a Heisman Candidate and probably win the Heisman,” Greiner boasted. “But to be honest with you, his ball get -off was so great last year, he didn’t play a ton of defense and I’m not just saying this, he could be the next Lawrence Taylor, he’s that special off the ball.”

Quite the praise.

Turn on the tape, and you see Crouch’s skills immediately. He is that unique blend of size, power and strength with the football in his hands, running through or by tacklers. On defense he’s certainly twitchy and violent. All the top programs in the country have extended a scholarship.

Which takes us to the other reason why college programs yearn to sign Crouch.

In the last week multiple college staffers have told 247Sports that besides all the freakish physical ability Crouch shows on film, the 247Sports Composite five-star recruit impresses with his want-to, his work ethic, his leadership qualities and desire and mentality towards the game. Crouch used his first paycheck from his first job nearly two years ago to buy mini hurdles at Dick’s Sporting Goods to put in time on his footwork. A young man of strong faith who last week spoke to an elementary school about his journey as a “kid from the mud,” Crouch views himself as a work in progress including his development on the football field.

“He’s a special guy,” Greiner said. “He’s always working on his craft. His greatest asset is his heart, his passion.”

The first time Greiner met Crouch was the summer before his ninth grade year.

“I asked him where he was transferring from,” Greiner laughed. “He said this is my first year, I’m a freshman. He was 190 pounds of muscle. Power cleaned 275 the first day and he had never cleaned before. He’s already gifted in so many areas.” As a freshman, Crouch was 190 pounds of muscle, power cleaning 275 pounds the first day in the weight room — and he had never cleaned before.

Crouch was basically a Day 1 starter and was a bright spot on a football team that went 1-10 that year, averaging over 6-yards per carry.

“I told everyone during his freshman year he was going to be one of the best players in the country and everyone laughed at me,” Greiner said. “I was a new coach and we were one of the worst teams but I had been around NFL players before and good teams before. His willingness not to be satisfied, he wears his team on his sleeve, he feels if the team fails it was because of him and he always wants to work. He’s constantly grinding and it’s special to watch.”

As Crouch progressed, so did Harding University, winning five games two seasons ago and then going 14-1 last fall and hoisting a lot of hardware along the way.

In my opinion, Crouch’s recruitment has a Clemson feel to it.

“Clemson is going bonkers right now,” Greiner described of the Tigers’ approach.

"Michigan, Clemson, LSU, N.C. State, Tennessee they have something brewing over there, South Carolina has always been there, Florida and Georgia are in the mix too. It will be all about the relationships and he believes God will lead him where he should go.”

With that, Greiner said Crouch won’t narrow his list of choices till the summer.

Crouch’s offer list is appropriately a who’s who of college football programs. It might be worth noting his older brother, Malik Dunlap, signed with NC State his past cycle. He's the No. 18 player in the class of 2019 according to the 247Sports Composite and the No. 2 athlete. 

Speaking of Clemson, I put in a 247Sports Crystal Ball Forecast in favor of the Tigers for Frank Ladson, the No. 2 wide receiver in the Top247, after speaking to a source Tuesday evening. That would be quite the pull for Dabo Swinney and company as they try and beat ACC foe Miami among others for the South Dade talent.

Clemson has four commits early in the 2019 cycle, most recently tight end Jaelyn Lay.

It could be another special class on offense for the Tigers as they are in good shape for two of America’s top quarterback recruits in Sam Howell and Taisun Phommachanh, who is visiting this weekend, along with Crouch, Ladson and Top247 receiver Joe Ngata who visited over the weekend. Clemson wants two tight ends in this class and would love to land either Luke Deal or Jackson Lowe to run with Lay. I personally like the Tigers for Deal, the Crystal Ball also likes Clemson for Lowe.

There is a lot of buzz regarding Texas A&M on the recruiting trail as the Aggies sit on the nation’s No. 6 recruiting class. However over the weekend Jimbo Fisher and his staff picked up a verbal from a prospect that didn’t have a whole lot of fanfare in Dayton (Texas) High outside linebacker/defensive end RJ Orebo who chose the Aggies over offers from Illinois State and Texas State.

If you look beyond the light offer list, you see that Orebo is 6-foot-6, 215-pounds, a former Sam Houston State basketball commit with serious upside. Certainly a developmental guy, Orebo is physical on film, has short area burst and change of direction quickness. He’ll be interesting to watch fill out and if it’s in there, defensive coordinator Mike Elko will find a way to get it out of him.

A big weekend on the trail sees Duke sitting at No. 12 in the 247Sports Composite Recruiting Rankings after the Blue Devils landed a trio of in-state targets including receiver Donavon Greene, who I feel could end up being really special. The 6-foot-2, 183-pound Greene caught 46 passes for 1,138 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior with 44 tackles and seven interceptions for Mount Airy (N.C.) High. Greene is also a terrific basketball player and helped lead Mount Airy to a state championship in track including a high jump of 6-4. He impacts the game as a deep threat with ball skills but can also turn a short reception into a big play.

As it stands right now, I like Duke for two more dynamic guys in four-star receiver Bryce Kirtz and athlete Wandale Robinson. Both can fly and sources around both prospects indicate the Blue Devils are in the driver’s seat.