Isaiah Crowell’s path to the NFL was inextricably altered by his arrest and subsequent dismissal from the Georgia football team on June 29, 2012.
Crowell had already been suspended twice even as he was earning the 2011 SEC freshman of the year award when he agreed to be the designated driver for four teammates who’d be out drinking that early June morning. The car was stopped at a road block on East Campus Road at Green Street at 2:20 a.m.
According to the police report, the officer smelled the odor of marijuana and received permission to search the car. He found a 9-mm Luger handgun under the driver’s seat. Crowell was arrested on charges of possessing a concealed weapon and other charges.
“When they searched the car and found it, I was really shocked,” Crowell told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in his first extensive interview since his dismissal from UGA.
>> To read Georgia head coach Mark Richt's reaction, see the complete interview with Isaiah Crowell on MYAJC.com
The charges were dismissed 10 months later but by that time, Crowell, the nation’s No. 1 recruit from Carver (Columbus) High School, was long gone.
Wearing the same No. 1 that he did at UGA, Crowell made the all-Southwestern Conference team two seasons running, rushing for 1,121 yards and 15 touchdowns last fall at Alabama State, a historically black university in Montgomery.
The NFL is keenly interested, but conversations always seem to circle back to his downfall.
His agents’ task is to separate the kid banished from Athens from the young man who says he has learned his lesson.