Central Michigan CB Xavier Crawford declares for 2019 NFL Draft

Junior defensive back Xavier Crawford stands in position before the ball is snapped on Oct. 13 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

Even though he already graduated from Oregon State, cornerback Xavier Crawford had one year of eligibility remaining for Central Michigan after coming to Mount Pleasant as a graduate transfer before the 2018 season.

Crawford made his decision to give up his final year of college football to enter the 2019 NFL Draft official on Dec. 3.

Upon announcing his decision, Crawford thanked former CMU coach John Bonamego and former Oregon State coach Mike Riley.

"My time here has definitely had an impact on me and helped me grow as a man and a football player," Crawford said. "I would also like to thank coach Riley for giving me a chance to play college football and earn a degree."

Crawford took a redshirt in his first year at Oregon State and immediately found the field in 2016 as a redshirt freshman. He logged 70 tackles, two tackles for a loss, one sack, 10 passes defended and one forced fumble.

His 10 passes defended ranked eighth in the Pac-12. 

In 2017, he registered 17 tackles and two passes defended in five games before going down with a season-ending back injury. Graduating from Oregon State in just three years, Crawford made the move to CMU as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound defensive pack posted 24 tackles, three tackles for a loss, one interception, 12 passes defended and two fumble recoveries for the Chippewas during their 1-11 season in 2018.

Crawford ranked No. 1 in the Mid-American Conference for his 12 passes defended. He was a First Team All-MAC defensive player. 

He was close with CMU defensive backs coach Cory Hall, who also spent time with Crawford at Oregon State. Once Hall made the move to Mount Pleasant, Crawford did as well.

"He has been a coach but also a mentor ever since I met him," Crawford said.

Crawford finished his collegiate career with 111 tackles, five tackles for a loss, one sack, two interceptions, 24 passes defended, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.

Since he's a fourth-year junior, Crawford is eligible to play in an all-star game and could get an opportunity in the East-West Shrine Game or NFLPA Collegiate Game. 

Crawford joins junior cornerback Sean Bunting as the only CMU players to head to the draft early. The other potential option is redshirt junior defensive end Mike Danna, who posted 65 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, one pass defended, three fumble recovers, two forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns.