Quarterback K.J. Costello and wide receiver Dylan Crawford knew they were going to be teammates at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl before they knew they were going to be teammates at Santa Margarita Catholic in California.
Crawford was a four-star receiver at St. Francis (La Cañada Flintridge, Calif.) but transferred to Santa Margarita Catholic last summer because he wanted to graduate this fall to enroll early in college. That he got to play his senior season with one of the nation’s best quarterbacks was not an unintended consequence.
“I thought I adjusted pretty fast,” Crawford said. “Honestly, getting the chemistry down with K.J. was the first thing and we worked on that over the summer. It’s been an easy transition.”
“Our chemistry continued to pick up,” Costello said. “We were feeling each other out over the summer. I really think now we understand each other to a level where it’s pretty hard to stop us if we’re on the same page.”
The high school teammates received their honorary jerseys to the Army Bowl this week when the Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance visited their school.
“It‘s a dream come true,” Crawford said. “You know the history and the players like DeSean Jackson and Odell Beckham, and you just want to be a part of that.”
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For Costello, the Army Bowl is a chance to pay tribute to his grandfather.
“Man, this is a true honor,” he said. “It really wasn’t even a question once I got the invitation. I know what the game stands for and respect for the troops. My grandfather served in the Marines and I have a lot of respect for him and I’m really close to him. Having the military in my background means a lot to me.”
After their trip to San Antonio for the Army Bowl, Crawford and Costello could continue playing together, although that has yet to be determined.
Costello, ranked as the No. 3 pro style QB, No. 5 player in California and No. 29 player overall by the 247Sports Composite rankings, is committed to Stanford and has been unwavering.
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He said “out of respect for the university,” he will take only one official visit and that is to Stanford, which is about a five-hour drive from home.
“I really do understand why it’s so important to get a really early commitment from the quarterback because a ripple effect happens from there,” he said. “Me starting to get in the ear of some recruits really changed a lot of things and our class has really blown up. I think a lot of recruits, once the quarterback is in, feel more comfortable pulling the trigger.”
Stanford is among the 10 schools on Crawford’s list, although he correctly pointed out, “I’m not going to make my decision off anybody else.” He also recently picked up an offer from Oregon.
Crawford is ranked as the No. 13 receiver in the class and No. 14 player in California by the 247Sports Composite.
He has visited Michigan but said he doesn’t have any other visits scheduled. Given his desire to be an early enrollee, he likely will need to decide before he gets to the Army Bowl.
“There’s not really a particular question I’m looking to get answered,” he said. “I’m looking at depth charts and the academics and networking and overall value of the education and seeing where it will go.”