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Isaiah Crowell hopes to take road less traveled to NFL

Chris O'Meara / Associated Press
Former Georgia standout Isaiah Crowell is looking to keep his NFL dream alive at Alabama State.

Remember Isaiah Crowell?

He was one of the nation's top running back recruits in 2011, and signed with the homestate Georgia Bulldogs. Less than a year later, he was a celebrated Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, and appeared to be well on his way to a prolific college career and perhaps a ticket to the NFL.

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Today, he is working to revive that possibility from a far smaller stage, with the Alabama State Hornets. A little over a year ago, Crowell was dismissed from UGA after being arrested on a weapons charge. Charges were eventually dismissed, but Crowell's second chance at college football still wasn't to be with Georgia.

At Alabama State, there won't be any bowl games for Crowell playing at the FCS level, or any of the adulation that goes along with being a starting running back in the SEC. He learned all that last season while rushing for 842 yards and 15 touchdowns in front of about 15,000 fans, a far more sparse crowd than he was used to in Athens, Ga.

But ASU does provide a chance to keep playing, and that's enough for Crowell to be thankful.

And clearly, the NFL is still his dream.

"When I knew (the charges) were dismissed, I was happy," said Crowell. "Really happy, because the NFL would know that it got dismissed. I knew all that was over and done with. That was the main thing."

Crowell will be three years removed from high school after this season, and thus eligible to declare for the 2014 NFL draft if he so chooses.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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