JEFFERSON - Carver running back Isaiah Crowell continues be at ease with what at times has been an overwhelming recruiting process.
But as he watched some of his teammates take part in Thursday's first day of the state track meet, the player who is arguably the state's most sought-after prospect wanted to make one thing clear - contrary to popular belief he's wide open as far as his recruitment is concerned.
That includes what's been a popular notion in some circles that defending national champion Alabama is the leader for his services.
But when asked point blank if that was the case, Crowell's response was short and to the point. "It's wide open," Crowell said. "So, no sir."
Crowell likes what he sees in the Crimson Tide program, but Georgia stands out, too.
"I like Coach Richt a lot. He's very outgoing and we can talk about anything and whatever," Crowell said. "Coach (Nick) Saban, he's high-tech and I really like the way he carries himself."
Crowell's teammate Deion Bonner, destined to perhaps become the state's best cornerback prospect in 2012, talk about Georgia a lot.
Bonner already has an offer from the Bulldogs and Crowell said the two often discuss the Georgia program.
"I like Georgia," Crowell said. "Me and Deion, we both like Georgia. We talk a lot. He always says he wants to play with me."
But neither is close to making their respective decision official.
"Georgia and Alabama - that's kind of a big thing we've got," Crowell said. "But we're going to get to some other schools to see how we like it."
When asked to compare Alabama and Georgia, Crowell said he likes both for basically the same reasons.
"I like the way (Alabama) runs the ball," Crowell said. "They run a pro-style offense that would get me ready for the next level."
"It's basically the same thing," he said.
Ironically, Crowell said he wanted to get to Athens Thursday.
However, NCAA rules prohibit colleges from hosting recruits on the same day they're participating in scheduled high school events.
Crowell will run in both the Class AAA 100- and 200-dash, along with the 400-meter relay. Crowell qualified for the state in the 100-meter with a time of 11.090.
"Yeah, I wanted to go (to Athens) today," said Crowell, who has been to Athens four times.
There will be a fifth.
Although Crowell said he's not certain when, he's definitely getting back to Athens this summer, most likely during one of the Bulldogs' summer camps.
With 15 offers thus far, Crowell has his pick of just about every big-time program. But he's not letting success go to his head.
"I'm coaches, my family, my mom and dad - they just tell me to stay humble and keep working hard," Crowell said. "It comes pretty easy to me."
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