Kent State quarterback Dustin Crum is a prospect that has mostly flown under the radar nationally speaking, but enters the 2021 season as one of the most outstanding players in the Mid-American Conference. Outside of the conference alone, though, Crum is also a player to watch ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft and could rise up the boards as the season goes on.
He could have entered the draft earlier this year, but ultimately decided against it.
“There was more I wanted to do at Kent. I had a lot more goals here,” he said. “I felt like having another year, another season to play and go back and look at more film and more tape would help.”
Crum has performed exceptionally well in Kent State’s “Flash Fast” offense that features some Air Raid concepts, led by offensive coordinator Andrew Sowder, who began his career as a student assistant on Art Briles’ staff at Baylor in 2009. Under Sowder, the strong-armed passer has started to garner attention as he’s thrown for 3,806 yards with 32 touchdowns and a mere four interceptions over the past two seasons.
The Golden Flashes have been highly productive with Crum at the helm, averaging 606.5 yards and 49.8 points per game in 2020. That season, Crum recorded a career-best completion percentage of 73.5%, passing for 1,181 yards with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions over the course of last year’s four-game schedule.
In addition to being a reliable, accurate passer who has a quick release and rarely puts the football in harm’s way, the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder’s rushing ability is also something to watch, as he’s recorded 947 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns in the past two years.
These stats alone showcase just how much of a dual-threat Crum can be and have helped him move up into the top 20 of most quarterback rankings ahead of the 2021 season. His Pro Football Focus numbers have been impressive, as he’s earned overall grades of 91.7 and 85.1 over the past two seasons. Also according to PFF, Crum has been good for six touchdown passes that traveled 40 yards or more since 2019, despite playing a shortened COVID schedule last year. Only Sam Howell, Justin Fields, and Carson Strong are ahead of him in that category in the FBS.
Speaking of Fields, it’s also worth noting that Crum was the only player outside of the Ohio State product who had at least 18 passing touchdowns and two interceptions or less in 2019. That’s good company to be in, considering where Fields was drafted and the outlook he currently has with the Chicago Bears.
That same season, Crum was one of the most essential factors in leading the Golden Flashes to their first bowl win in program history. He’s hopeful the program can capitalize on its recent successes this year.
“Our end goal is definitely to win the MAC championship,” he said. “Try to knock off one of those power five teams we play this season. Just to take it a step farther from where we’ve been in the past, continuing to grow in the right direction.”
Given his quick rise and the upward momentum he seems poised to build on, Crum could be the best quarterback in the country outside of the Power 5, with Strong and Grayson McCall serving as his primary competition for that title.
Crum is confident in what he brings to the table for an NFL team, but also has some specific areas of improvement he’s looking to work on this season.
“I’d say the biggest things are taking care of the football and then accuracy,” he said. “Putting the ball in the right spots at the right times and not putting it in harm’s way. As far as what I want to work on, pocket presence, not being flushed out of the pocket too easily at times, and to be able to re-establish myself better after being moved off of my spot a little bit. Just continuing to do more work, being able to work off-script some more.”
Crum has set a solid foundation for himself and he’s beginning to earn more than just a little recognition. If he stays consistent, we could find him moving into even bigger conversations very soon.
- Jun 28, 2022
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