Caden Crawford

Give Aaron Graves an assist on this one. Iowa Football's first verbal commitment in the 2022 Class is working on building the group. 

The Gowrie (IA) Southeast Valley defensive end formed a bond with Lansing (KS) High's Caden Crawford since the latter was offered an Iowa scholarship in the fall. Wednesday, Crawford pledged to the Hawkeyes

"We have a really good relationship," he told HN about Graves. "We can talk about anything, whether that’s football, school, life, anything really."

Crawford (6-5, 240) could end up at linebacker or defensive end, depending on how his body develops. He also reports scholarship offers from Kansas State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Oklahoma State. 

The prolonged dead period that started last March due to the pandemic has prevented guided campus visits and face-to-face meetings with college coaches. Crawford connected well enough with the Iowa coaches virtually to make up his mind. 

"Talking with the staff and Aaron Graves I believed it was the best fit for me program wise and academically," Crawford said.

Rivals and 247Sports rank Crawford as a three-star prospect. The former sees him as the No. 4 player in Kansas and the No. 28 outside linebacker nationally in '22. The latter rates him No. 3 in his state and the 39th defensive end in the country. 

Crawford recorded 78 tackles, 18 of which went for loss, and four sacks. He also forced five fumbles. 

Here's a look at Crawford's junior highlights: