One of the fastest players on Kentucky’s football team only recently stepped foot on campus.
The 6-2 wide receiver from Louisville caught 35 touchdowns for more than 2,000 yards at Butler High School. A bonafide deep threat, he proved it when the strength coaches tested the newcomers this summer. Tae Tae Crumes ran a 4.3 40-yard dash, a number that would impress most, but not Tae Tae.
“I was disappointed, honestly, because I really feel like I could have done better,” Crumes told KSR. “This is all new to me. I’ve never done vertical and all of that. So when they came down here and did it (the 40), I knew I could’ve done way better than what I did. I’m happy with what I did. I came here, working hard and am trying to get better.”
Well, he was happy with it until running back Travis Tisdale posted a faster time. “My pride was hurt,” he laughed. “I gotta beat these people.”
When Kentucky signed Crumes in December, one Louisville area coach told me he could be UK’s best signee from Louisville. Vince Marrow agreed.
“It’s not crazy talk. I think Tae Tae is going to be like Jeff Badet,” said Marrow. “I think because he stayed committed and a lot of these guys want to be drama kings or drama queens and all that stuff, he stayed committed and sometimes you get lost in the shuffle, but this kid is fast. Ohio State was recruiting him, Michigan, Michigan State, he was committed to that school down the street, and we flipped him from them. I think you’re going to be very surprised with this kid and his speed when he comes in here. He’s going to be a great addition to our receiving corp.”
History tells us it’s rare for freshmen to make an impact right away at wide receiver. The physicality at the next level is unlike anything they experienced in high school. Even so, Crumes’ raw speed could be an asset. He is not pumping the brakes on his own personal goals.
“I’m trying to come out here and chew, dominate, show what I got,” said Crumes. “This is what they recruited and I’m trying to give them what they want.”
So far, he’s giving UK’s coaches exactly what they want to see. Crumes gained ten pounds of muscle before the start of training camp. Following Isaiah Epps’ injury, wide receivers coach Michael Smith asked for more. As you can see, No. 82 has answered the call.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) August 15, 2019
There’s no guarantees that Crumes will play right away. Luckily, the redshirt rule gives the Louisville wide receiver four games to prove he belongs on the field before losing a year of eligibility.
“He’s put himself in a position to compete,” Smith said. “I do believe a redshirt year would be valuable for him, but like in all of football, we don’t know what’s gonna happen.”
If the Cats can’t find a deep threat elsewhere, there’s one rookie ready to take the top off opposing defenses.
“He can flat fly,” said Smith. “I’m so excited for that young man, because I truly believe that he has an opportunity to be a special wide receiver.”