Scott Crichton’s decision to leave Oregon State early and enter the NFL draft was spurred by simplicity.
He wanted to help his family. Now.
Crichton, who played football at Foss High School before hurtling toward Pac-12 Conference quarterbacks while a defensive end for Oregon State, is trying to shift the generational burden in his house.
“I’ve taken this responsibility to take care of them,” Crichton said at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. “My mom works two jobs, and my dad is disabled and still works a job, too. They are getting old, and I want them to retire and just stop working. I just did this for my family.”
During his time at Oregon State, Crichton often cited his disdain toward the University of Washington for not offering him a scholarship. The Huskies’ decision to withhold a chance for Crichton became a massive benefit to Oregon State.
He made 19 tackles for loss in 2013, fifth most in Oregon State single-season history, though he was often double-teamed. Crichton was named second-team all-Pac-12 last season, and first-team all-Pac-12 his sophomore season. He finished with 22.5 career sacks, third most in school history.
Crichton — projected by CBS Sports’ Rob Rang as a second-round pick — said he could be like Seahawks free-agent defensive lineman Michael Bennett.
They are similar in size. Crichton is 6-foot-3 and 273 pounds. Bennett is 6-4, 274. Bennett’s large benefit to the Seahawks was his ability to line up inside or outside. His release at the time of the snap was crucial. Crichton said he thinks his strongest attribute comes as soon as the ball moves.
“Just being explosive and coming off right off the line, and then you’ve got to have technique,” Crichton said. “I’ve worked on my craft these last couple years, and I feel like I have improved and progressed as a defensive end using my hands, using my power, my speed. I think all those attributes help me a lot.”
Crichton eventually circled back to his family when talking about his reasons for being in the draft.
He said his father, Lucky, has an artificial leg following a health-related amputation. But Lucky still works in a warehouse and was taking care of his father until his recent death.
“It was just unfortunate, and this was all happening at once,” Crichton said.
Crichton was so intent on entering the draft, he didn’t submit the paperwork to receive a draft grade, which helps underclassmen understand where they might be drafted.
He felt it was time to leave the small-town atmosphere he enjoyed so much in Corvallis.
“I was going to come back to college, but just to see my family struggle — we didn’t have much growing up, and to see my family struggle, I wasn’t OK with that so I had to do something,” Crichton said. “This is one of the greatest opportunities for me to take care of my family.”todd.dybas@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @Todd_Dybas