One of the rookies invited to this weekend's New York Giants minicamp will be older than every player on the team's regular-season roster.
Brandon Crawford, 33, will get a tryout with the team beginning Friday. If the former Ball State defensive end were to eventually make the team's roster -- a longshot -- he'd be the oldest NFL rookie since 1946 and likely become the most senior player on the Giants roster. Not bad for a guy who took a decade off from the sport.
After getting arrested and watching his college football hopes vanish in the 1990s, Crawford worked a few jobs and eventually enlisted in the Marines. He was discharged after four years and used the money he earned from his service to enroll at Ball State at 29. Despite the long layoff from football, he made the team, helped them to two bowl games, was named to an all-conference team and graduated with a degree in criminal justice. And he did this all while being older than a handful of the team's coaching staff.
Of his age, Crawford told the Kansas City Star:
"[It] has nothing to do with it if you take care of your body. My body doesn't have the wear and tear of guys who have been the league for 10, 11 years. My body hasn't taken a beating. I've only been playing college football for four years and am in good shape. I still can play.
"I can contribute leadership, character, maturity. A lot of those guys they bring in are younger guys, they've never been in this position before. I've spent four years in the Marine Corps. I know what it takes to be accountable."
Crawford said Monday that all he wanted was an opportunity to show one team what he could do on the field. It's unlikely he'll make the final roster. But, then again, it was unlikely he'd contribute to a bowl team after turning 30 and not playing for 10 years. Plus, compared to basic training, minicamp should be a breeze.
[NOTE: The headline has been edited to change "ex-Marine" for "former Marine." Shutdown Corner apologizes for the mistake, and thanks those who wrote in with the correction.]