East lineman commits to play football at Virginia

Olympians star considered 7 other scholarship offers

The University of Virginia’s campus is one of the nation’s oldest and most picturesque. It took Harry Crider just one look to fall in love with it.

Crider, a three-sport athlete entering his senior year at Columbus East, gave a verbal commitment this week to play football at Virginia beginning in the fall of 2017. He became the 10th member of coach Bronco Mendenhall’s recruiting class.

The Cavaliers had offered Crider a scholarship in late May, and after the 6-foot-4, 255-pounder visited with his family for a camp on June 11, it didn’t take him much longer to accept.

“We definitely felt at home with them,” said Crider, who said he has developed a strong rapport with Virginia offensive line coach Garett Tujague. “Beautiful campus, great academic school where I can get a great degree. It was pretty much a no-brainer from there.”

Crider had received seven other scholarship offers, including such schools as Dartmouth and Indiana State. He was looking at Brown, Harvard and Yale and had planned a trip to New England to visit those Ivy League schools — but that was scratched from the itinerary once Crider had decided on Charlottesville, Virginia, as his end destination.

Though he plays center for the Olympians, Crider believes he could easily transition to either offensive guard spot as well. East coach Bob Gaddis doesn’t think the Class 5A Junior All-State selection will have any trouble fitting in with the Cavaliers.

“They just like the fact that he can move,” said Gaddis, noting that Crider has played linebacker, tight end and even receiver while in high school and didn’t become an offensive lineman until his sophomore year. “He’s very athletic.”

Now that Crider has got his college decision taken care of, he’s looking forward to a much less stressful senior season.

“It’s definitely a relief,” he said, “because these past couple of months have been kind of a whirlwind, a lot of stuff going on. “It definitely takes a big part of that (stress) off.”

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Ryan O'Leary is sports editor for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at roleary@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2715.