Gophers receiver Devin Crawford-Tufts has established himself as one of the top track sprinters in the Big Ten this season and has no plans of giving up his second sport anytime soon.
“I’m going to do the best I can to make both sports work because I love both sports, and I think I can be beneficial on both sides,” Crawford-Tufts said after Tuesday’s spring football practice.
Crawford-Tufts was a state champion in the 100- and 200-meter dash at Edina before coming to the University. Now a sophomore, he has used up two years of football eligibility, but this is his first season with the Gophers track team.
He finished third in the 60-meter dash at the Big Ten indoor championships in February with a time of 6.80 seconds. He also finished eighth in the 200-meter dash. After spring football ends, he’ll return to the track and concentrate on the 100-meter dash, along with the 200.
The football team is counting on Crawford-Tufts, too. He caught 16 passes for 189 yards last fall and returns as the team’s third-leading receiver behind Derrick Engel and Isaac Fruechte.
Crawford-Tufts met with Gophers football coach Jerry Kill and got his blessing before going out for track. The 6-2 receiver is listed at 193 pounds. Asked if he feels his sprinting training has taken anything away from his football preparation, Crawford-Tufts said, “No, I believe it added to football. I feel faster. My legs feel a lot better when I’m running.”