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Crooks staying focused

It’s not time for Delando Crooks to talk too much about recruiting. There are more important things at stake, namely an undefeated season with his Atlanta (Ga.) Carver teammates.

Delando Crooks will lead his team in a big homecoming game on Saturday against 6-1 Washington.

That is the approach that Crooks, a three-star offensive lineman is taking at this stage in his senior year. A 7-0 record and a demanding class schedule are keeping Crooks plenty busy but that’s not to say that he doesn’t have plenty to consider on the recruiting front as well.

“With him and his teammates, they made a pact that they’re going to concentrate on the team,” said Crooks’ uncle and Carver assistant coach Troy Vaccianna. “They made a pact that they’re going to do the best they can on the field. The offense is putting up close to 40 points per game and the defense hasn’t given up a touchdown in a couple of games. He made a pact that he’s focusing on the season and on his schoolwork.”

Both the offensive and the defensive stats are accomplishments that Crooks can take pride in. He anchors the offense at left tackle playing every available snap on that side of the football. Defensively Crooks plays an estimated 95 percent of the snaps all over the defensive line as well. And the schoolwork talk? That isn’t just rhetoric either.

Crooks maintains a 3.6 GPA and takes college level classes through Georgia State University, already earning himself 18 hours of college credit. His first two years of college math requirements are already complete.

That success on the field teamed with his academic accomplishments has made Crooks a wanted man on the recruiting trail as well. In an attempt to keep his focus on his team and due to several of his high school games falling on Saturdays, Crooks’ fall visit schedule has been limited. The only visit he has taken to date is one to Purdue during his team’s bye week but he does plan on seeing some other campuses later in the process.

“We’ve talked to schools about taking visits,” said Vaccianna. “We’ve talked to Vanderbilt about taking visits on several occasions. I spoke to Coach (James) Franklin today. We speak to them probably three teams a week. I think he spoke to me about coming up to the Tennessee game. They invited us to the Florida game but we unable to make it.”

Along with Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Stanford and Purdue are all schools that have continued to show interest. When the time comes to make a decision there is no one factor that Crooks is focused on.

“You have to find a comfort zone as to ‘this is where I need to be’,” said Crooks’ uncle. “Find the right fit for him and of course the school has to be the right academic program. He loves football. Winning is very important to him. I think it’s a combination of things like a rubix cube. You try everything until it fits.”

Currently Crooks is rated by 247Sports as a three-star prospect and the No. 75 offensive tackle in the country. He has a 247Composite ranking as the No. 45 offensive tackle in he country.

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