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Friday, October 14, 2011

Crudup back home to aid SCSU football

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
bcloutier@nhregister.com
NEW HAVEN — Dy’Onne Crudup is living proof that you can go home again.
After playing three seasons of Division I football at Temple, Crudup, a former standout at Hyde, is back in New Haven playing in his final season of eligibility at Southern Connecticut State.
Crudup and the Owls look to rebound from a 59-38 setback to rival New Haven a week ago when they play at Bentley on Saturday at 2 p.m. Both teams enter the game 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the Northeast-10.
Crudup opted to leave Temple after three solid seasons at wide receiver.
“It was great,” Crudup said. “I got my degree and I played three years. After my junior season they were going to change the offense so the coach was nice enough to let me go somewhere else to play another season.”
Crudup knew that place would be Southern. After hauling down 57 passes at Temple, the school was about to drastically change its offensive philosophy and Crudup’s role as a slot receiver was headed for a change.
Temple not only was bringing in a new offensive coordinator but had recruited highly-touted running back Bernard Pierce. Still, Crudup is proud of his time at Temple.
“When I got there we were coming off a 1-12 season,” he said. “My last game was the (Eagle Bank Bowl) game in Washington D.C. and that was the first bowl game that Temple had been in in 30 years. So we accomplished a lot and you can see they’re still going good.”
Now at Southern, Crudup is sometimes the third option in an offensive juggernaut. Playing alongside talented wideouts Willie Epps and Andre Privott and with super running back Rashaad Slowley in the backfield, Crudup has seen few balls come his way.
He’s not bothered by it.
“You’ve just got to wait your turn,” he said. “I’m getting a great opportunity as punt returned so I get my hands on the ball and on the offense, I’m just filling my role.
“I’m so happy to be back in New Haven and I’m playing for my mentors who helped me when I was in high school.”
Crudup, who grew up right around the corner from the SCSU campus and has known assistant coaches Walter Gibbs and Ron Lecointe for years, feels the Owls can bounce back from last week’s loss to the Chargers.
“If you look at that game we were in it right to the end,” Crudup said. “The score doesn’t look like we were that close but that was a tight game. I give New Haven credit. They’re playing really well but we’re a good team and we’ve turned the page to focus on Bentley.
“Bentley is good, too and they beat us last year so we have to be ready. Coach (Rich Cavanaugh) said that if we finish well we can still make the playoffs and you never know what’s going to happen with the other teams so we just have to take care of ourselves.”
Crudup has seven receptions on the year and is averaging 17 yards on his five punt returns. He is studying communications at Southern after earning a degree in Sports Management at Temple.
Crudup amassed over 4,000 total yards at Hyde, helping the Howling Wolves to two state titles. He was a quarterback, running back, punter, kicker and defensive back. He is willing to do anything to help the new Owls.
Bill Cloutier can be reached at bcloutier@nhregister.com. Follow Bill on twitter @BillCloutier. To receive breaking news first, simply text the word nhsports to 22700. *Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.

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