KISSIMMEE — Antonio Crawford enjoys doing charity work, but he never expected to make the same trip twice wearing two different jerseys.
“It’s kind of weird, but it’s good to be here again and give back to the kids,” he said.
Crawford, a redshirt senior cornerback, wore the navy blue No. 1 of West Virginia on Monday at Give Kids the World Village, a charity trip organized by the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Three years ago, he was in a white No. 21 jersey, representing Miami. He transferred in April 2015, hoping for a better opportunity after finding himself stuck behind Artie Burns, Tracy Howard and Corn Elder on Miami’s depth chart. He left after voicing his displeasure on social media, calling himself “a piece of gold that gets treated like a piece of silver.”
He was referring to UM’s former coaching staff. Monday, he was happy to see former teammates, including Elder, with whom he spent several minutes catching up.
“That’s my boy,” Crawford said.
“I talked to a lot of them before this. As soon as we found out about the game, I was texting them and talking to them on the phone. All good things. It’s a brotherhood, still.”
He stayed quiet as the Hurricanes and Mountaineers yapped at each other during the event.
Crawford, who has been hampered by a shoulder injury in his lone season in Morgantown, has played in seven games and started four for WVU. The Tampa-Plant High graduate has 21 tackles, 19 solo, two for loss and four pass break-ups. In his WVU debut, against Missouri, he made a team-high eight stops, all solo.
In his UM career (2012-14), he played in all 38 of Miami’s games, recording 58 tackles, eight pass break-ups and one interception. He started at the nickel position his final two seasons. In the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl, he made two tackles off the bench.
He didn’t want to discuss his role for Wednesday’s game — “that’s in house,” he said — but stated one particular goal.
“Last time I was on the losing team,” he said. “I want to be on the winning team.”
* The current Hurricanes who played in that 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl: safeties Rayshawn Jenkins (two tackles) and Jamal Carter (one), receiver Stacy Coley (three catches, 32 yards; 172 yards on seven kickoff returns), running back Gus Edwards (12 carries, 38 yards, touchdown), offensive lineman Alex Gall and receiver Malcolm Lewis.