Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
What would happen if you catch an NFL game on your television and the announcers bring the starting line up and one says he came from McPherson College? That would be a victory for the McPherson College football program and a victory for Ed Crouch. The odds might be against his favor, but all he needs is to get his foot in the NFL doors. If it opens, Crouch hopes there will be an NFL contract waiting for him.
Crouch’s resume might not be as appealing due to the competition level, but at 6-foot-4 215 pounds, the dual-threat quarterback brings physical tools, improvisation while under pressure, elite quickness with breakaway speed and a cannon of an arm with a quick release. It’s no wonder he labeled himself as “The Magician.” As Crouch is still in the early phase of the NFL process, he has been working on his throwing and learning more about the speed of the game from a physical and mental perspective.
“I’ve been working on straight strength, speed and getting the mental reps by learning how to read coverages and basically learning about the NFL teams that I need to know before I make it the NFL,” Crouch said.
— E. Crouch Jr (@Eddunkin7) November 11, 2019
Crouch has already signed with an agency to represent him called the Overtime Sports Management LLC, which is located in Houston, Texas. Bulldogs Head Coach Jeremiah Fiscus also has been consulting with Crouch during his journey. While Crouch was deciding on his agent, he would lean toward Fiscus for advice.
I would like to thank God for Life, Health & Strength. I will be signing with @OSMG_LLC Corey Williams to represent me as my Agent 💼 Thanks for welcoming me to be a part of the OSMG family 🙏🏾 #McPhersonAlumni #BulldogPride pic.twitter.com/jyRXALnmts
— E. Crouch Jr (@Eddunkin7) January 3, 2020
Both Fiscus and Crouch’s newly hired agent, Corey Williams, has been shopping around Crouch’s game film to all 32 NFL teams, giving the Miami Gardens native the exposure he needs. On Nov. 12, the Los Angeles Rams visited McPherson College and have spoken to Crouch in an interviewing setting. The scouts would talk about offensive schemes and would even have Crouch draw up a few plays for them. According to Fiscus, these are just some of the little things NFL teams pay close attention to.
“When it comes to the NFL, it starts with them wanting to see how a guy looks,” Fiscus said” Everybody has these goals and aspirations of being an NFL player but for the most part, they don’t take you unless you look the part and that’s where it starts and from there, they watch the film to actually see your skillset. If the boxes checked off, they just ask various things depending on the kid’s situation.”
— McPherson Football (@MACBulldogsFB) November 12, 2019
Fiscus, a former Bulldog player, is no stranger to being around NFL talent. In the 2010-2011 season, Fiscus was a graduate assistant at Texas Christian University. During that year, TCU won the Rose Bowl over the University of Wisconsin. Other than working under long-time TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson, he has worked with some NFL players that went to TCU, including Andy Dalton, quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals. Fiscus, a former Bulldog player, is excited to be part of Crouch’s NFL journey and looks forward to seeing the results of his progression.
“It would be unbelievable,” Fiscus said. “As much as that would be good for the program, it would be just great for him. I’ve fortunately have been around NFL starters and have been around guys that were NFL camp guys, practice squad guys and everything in between. I’m just always happy for the individual, and it does look great for the program.
A lot of kids have the dream of playing beyond college, and they’re a lot of kids that have the dream to play beyond high school but don’t get that opportunity. Ed (Crouch) is doing it. In college, we like to have that opportunity but like I said, you just don’t have the tools. Ed is a guy that’s going to have that opportunity, and we hope he gets to fulfill that dream that so many people haven’t. Not everyone has a realistic chance but he does. We are in his corner from an individual standpoint and the program standpoint. “
If things go accordingly, Crouch would be the first Bulldog to sign to a professional team since the late Jack Vetters, a Mac College hall-of-fame inductee who was a multisport athlete back in the 40s’. Vetters had NFL offers from the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions but decided to sign with the Brooklyn Dodgers for one season before being enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp.
Most notable NFL players that played in the NAIA level include Mike McCarthy (Baker University 87′) who was just hired to be the new Head Coach for the Dallas Cowboys, Jon Kitna (Central Washington ’96), Thomas Henderson (Langston University ’74), and even NFL hall of fame players such as Mel Blount (Southern University ’69) from the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buck Buchannon (Grambling State University ’62) of the Kansas City Chiefs and Walter Payton (Jackson State University ’74) from the Chicago Bears. Even current NFL players like Damon”Snacks Harrison ( William Penn University ’17) of the New York Giants and Krishawn Hogan (Marian University ’17) of New Orleans Saints played in the NAIA division.
The list goes on, but not many NFL players played in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. One notable player that came from that conference was Rolland “Bay” Lawrence out of Tabor College. Lawrence, who played running back for the Bule Jays, switched to cornerback after entering the league and has played all seven years for the Atlanta Falcons (1973-1980). In his last year with Mac College, Crouch threw for 1975 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also added 613 rushing yards and five more touchdowns on the ground. He left the Bulldogs as the all-time leading passer with 7,442 yards in his career, beating out former Bulldog Shane Mascarenas (7143). As Crouch leaves a legacy at Mac and a big shoe to fill for the next quarterback in line, he also leaves deep gratitude and hopes to pave the way for the next Bulldog to enter the NFL.
“It would mean so much to me. I would put McPherson College and the McPherson community on the map. That’s my family out there,” Crouch said. “I love the community and the people at Mac. They are very supportive and they are always happy. I’m going to miss my teammates and coaches at Mac. I’m going to miss the atmosphere of being in McPherson.
I just want to thank everyone in McPherson for sticking with me from thick and thin. I like to thank the school for being supportive through the whole thing and for believing in me. Thank you, McPherson.”