Montclair High School junior Josh Crawford (4) looks for space to run during the Mounties’ August scrimmage with Elizabeth at Woodman Field. ANDREW GARDA/STAFF

by Andrew Garda

garda@montclairlocal.news

For most high school upperclassmen, comfort is a big part of finding the right college fit. A school can have the best of everything, but if it doesn’t feel like the right place for you, it usually won’t be.

So feeling like Central Michigan University could be a home away from Montclair was a big reason for Montclair High School junior Josh Crawford’s early acceptance of the offer they extended this spring.

That, and his mom felt comfortable there.

“The family atmosphere, the way it made my mom feel,definitely helped,” Crawford said.

Coming out of Montclair High School, Crawford knows what a tight-knit unit can do. The Mounties proved that last season as they went undefeated to win a state championship at MetLife Stadium. Central Michigan has that same feel, something he was able to observe while at campus to attend spring practice.

“The energy was great. They compete, but at the same time they act as a family. They may get into a couple fights here and there, but you will never see them turn their back on each other,” he said.

Crawford also said there was a familiarity to the Chippewas’ offense, where he will be doing much the same thing he does for the Mounties—playing slot receiver and running back.

“They invited me to one of the meetings during one of the early spring practices,” he said. “So, I got to see everything they go through on a day to day basis…It was easy to pick up on everything they were doing in the meetings. Signals and everything, offensive-wise is very similar.”

Of course, you go to college for an education, even if you have NFL dreams, which Crawford does. Central Michigan’s highly ranked business school was as big a factor as the football program in his choice.

Crawford intends to study accounting while at CM.

“Central Michigan had been showing love even before they offered me, so it was kind of a no brainer when I got on campus. I knew if I fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere there, I’d commit. Central Michigan is definitely the perfect place for me,” he said.

That’s especially important when mom has to drive 11 hours to come visit.