An excited Germane Crowell Jr. announced Tuesday that he has signed a grant-in-aid with the University of Virginia.
“When I signed, it felt good to officially be part of the Virginia family,” said Crowell, a rising senior defensive back prospect at Carver High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Unlike a national letter of intent, a grant-in-aid does not bind a recruit to a particular school. Crowell can still go to another school if he chooses to; however, with no reservations about his decision and no plans to visit other schools he appears primed to follow through with his plans and enroll on Grounds this coming January. Lake Braddock (Burke, VA) tailback Lamont Atkins and Fork Union Military Academy (VA) defensive back Darrius Bratton plan on enrolling mid-year, too.
Since committing to the Cavaliers on April 22 earlier this year, the 6’2”, 180-pound athlete has received scholarship offers from Georgia, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin. Crowell, who also held offers from Duke, Florida, Kentucky, NC State, Penn State, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest at the time of his commitment, discussed what makes him so certain UVA is the right fit.
“I know what I’m walking into,” he said. “As far as the other places I’ve been, all of them have great programs. At Virginia, Coach Mendenhall and his staff, they are not like other coaching staffs. Coach Mendenhall’s passion is working hard. Things being earned and not given will really prepare me for the next 40 years of my life… not just the next four or five years, the next 40 years.”
Crowell’s connection with Mendenhall and Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs coach Nick Howell was instantaneous. It began when the Carver standout attended a Virginia Junior Day earlier this year and continues to grow.
“In talking to [Mendenhall], I really like how his conversation didn’t sound like an automated voicemail,” Crowell said. “He meant what he said. He said it’s not going to be easy. He told me the hard part, not the perfect scenario. Guys see right now they are turning the program into a whole different situation. Coach Mendenhall said they love all the players, but they are also there to win.”
Crowell, a versatile athlete who expects to start out playing the cornerback position for the Cavaliers, enjoyed working with coach Howell at UVA’s final one-day camp of the summer.
“I love Coach Howell,” Crowell said. “He’s a fireball. I feed off his energy. He’s always energetic. When he’s teaching, he’s real energetic. [Coach Howell and Coach Mendenhall] are great dudes.”
Crowell’s father, Germane Sr., and his uncle, Angelo, starred in football at UVA. From a family perspective, how significant was yesterday’s signing?
“It was good. We don’t really like to blow things out of proportion, though. It is more like a stepping stone,” the younger Crowell noted.
“It was real cool because, like dad has always told me, follow the path that’s been laid before you,” Crowell added. “I can follow the path they laid, only I can do it better than they did.”
Germane Jr. will return to Virginia for the “Commitment Cookout” event on August 20. The day before, Germane Sr., who is Carver’s head coach, and his son will lead the Yellow Jackets in the 2016 regular season opener against Dudley, which features fellow Virginia commit Bryson Speas as well as Virginia Tech quarterback commit Hendon Hooker.
“Compared to this point last year, I’m taller, bigger, stronger, and faster. I feel like an animal ready to dominate whoever I play against,” said Crowell, who sees action at quarterback, wide receiver, cornerback, and safety for his team. “I’m really implementing what coach Howell taught me at camp. He taught me not to always rely on my speed. He taught me to become a technician.”