Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Trainer: Greg Crippen's Ceiling Is Wherever He Wants It To Be

April 3, 2019

Greg Crippen‍ is going to continue improving, according to Exceed Sports Performance & Fitness owner/director or operations Sean Smith, which is saying a lot.

The 2021 offensive lineman from IMG Academy announced his commitment to Notre Dame last week, following an unofficial visit to South Bend. Crippen is originally from Massachusetts and whenever he is home, he works out at the facility Smith owns with his business partner Shane Davenport

“Greg’s ceiling is wherever he wants it to take it,” says Smith. “He’s a big kid…He’s a machine. He comes in and he’s here to get better.”

The 6-foot-4, 285-pounder is an athlete who was a standout quarterback growing up before moving to offensive line.

“He’s a good athlete, a big kid and they put him in the right position, which is very rare,” says Smith. “A lot of big guys, they think, ‘He has to be a tackle.’ But he’s playing guard. He’s been fortunate enough to put him in the right position.

“He’s a guy who looks like our NFL guys, I mean, he’s young and he’s not as strong. But you look at him and it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, totally.’ He wants it.”

There’s no doubt Crippen wants it.

“Greg is a phenomenal kid,” says Smith. “He won’t say boo other than, ‘Can I do more? Can I do extra?’ He wants to get better.”

Smith and Davenport train several local high school, college and pro standouts, including 2020 Massachusetts wide receiver Jay Brunelle.

Sometimes, Smith thinks Crippen and Brunelle may want it too much if that’s possible.

“The young guys like him and Jay, you have to try to push them and tell them to take off days sometimes, which is good and bad,” says Smith. “They want to get better, they’re here to work. But in mine and Shane’s experience, we manage athletes for long-term success.

“I don’t want them to peak in high school, whether it’s IMG or St. John’s-Shrewsbury. I want them to go to college and either peak in college or peak in the pros. Sometimes the guys who overwork too young, peak too early. I’m trying to educate those guys.”

Smith says Crippen is very sound in the technical aspect of the position, now it’s just about being comfortable and “owning the position.”

“A lot of young offensive linemen tend to reach and over-anticipate,” says Smith, who wants Crippen to feel like the best guard in the entire country.

“‘Don’t reach, own the position, stay there,’” says Smith. “It sounds silly, but it’s just getting better and owning that position.”

Smith says Crippen will continue adding weight as he finishes his high school career.

“I don’t know if he’s got more height in him,” he says. “He’ll probably be 6-4, 305. He could put 20 pounds on pretty easy. I think he easily puts on some more upper-body strength. The lower-body frame is there, just more strength and little more size in the chest and he’s good to go.”

Smith and Davenport work out with Crippen as much as possible and he was in last week before and after his commitment to the Irish.

“We’d love more time with him. He pops in when he’s home on break. He should be home this summer, which will be real exciting.”

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