|Jay Sailors/Associated Press|
|Running back Isaiah Crowell rushed for 1,121 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2013 despite playing with an ankle injury.|
Alabama State running back Isaiah Crowell, who began his career at Georgia before being dismissed, is working out with at least one former Bulldogs teammate to get ready for the combine, Alabama State coach Reggie Barlow said.
Barlow, a former NFL wide receiver, told the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser that Crowell is working out at The Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Fla., with players such as Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and LSU wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
Barlow told the newspaper that scouts from "probably about 25 teams" came by Alabama State practices during the season to see Crowell, who Barlow said has a fourth-round draft grade. Crowell rushed for 1,121 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior in 2013 despite playing most of the second half of the season with an ankle injury.
In November, Barlow told various media outlets that the ankle injury had an effect on how much playing time Crowell received and hinted to the Advertiser that perhaps Crowell was a bit too cautious with the injury.
Barlow also told al.com that he was in a "tough situation because, obviously, [Crowell] wants to go and play on the next level. We don't want to send him damaged, if you will. So, in trying to look out for him and help him ... if we didn't have the guys behind him that we have confidence in, we probably would've just, you know, made him go."
Crowell was one of the most heavily recruited running backs in the nation in the 2011 signing class out of high school in Columbus, Ga. He rushed for 850 yards and five TDs and was named the SEC's freshman of the year in 2011. But he was dismissed by coach Mark Richt before the 2012 season after being arrested on three charges, including two weapons-related felonies.
Barlow played in the NFL for eight seasons, and he told The Associated Press in August that Crowell "puts me in the mind-set of a Fred Taylor [a Barlow teammate in Jacksonville]. He has that type of speed and explosiveness. He catches the ball well in the passing game and he understands protection. And when you have those three components, that's exactly what the NFL is. You fit the pyramid. I think he's an NFL running back."
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.