WVU’s Crawford to skip bowl, prepare for draft

MORGANTOWN — Senior running back Justin Crawford decided not to play in WVU’s Dec. 26 Heart of Dallas Bowl game against Utah and will prepare for the NFL draft, Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen said Dec. 14.

“Justin has logged a lot of miles and been a key contributor for us the past two seasons,” Holgorsen said in a school press release. “He made a decision to not play in the bowl game based on what is best for him and his family.”

Crawford, a second-team all-Big 12 performer, was the third-leading rusher in the Big 12 Conference, with 1,061 yards and seven touchdowns.

He had seven 100-yard rushing performances, including a season-high 125 yards against Kansas.

He became the first WVU running back to rush for back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons since Noel Devine in 2008 and 2009. As a junior in 2016, Crawford finished with 1,184 yards and four touchdowns and was named league offensive newcomer of the year.