Favorite pregame meal: I like to eat Italian food. Spaghetti or pizza to get the calories built up.
Favorite band: AC/DC or Metallica
Favorite movie: The Expendables 2
Favorite athlete: Definitely Tom Brady
Favorite and least favorite class: My favorite is Spanish and least favorite is Algebra 2.
Biggest fear: Letting my teammates down and not performing to the best of my ability.
Dream Vacation: Alaska
Dream car: Audi R8
If you could have any superpower, what would you pick: To fly
Plans after graduating from high school: I haven't thought that far out yet.
AZTEC — Aztec High School has found a quarterback to replace 2012 New Mexico Mr. Football winner Adam Lucero. High school football kicks off this Friday night, and Aztec will call on junior Marcus Crawford to lead the team from behind center against Los Lunas.
"The quarterback was going to be the guy who would be a student of the game, and Marcus proved to be that. He works extremely hard and knows what he has to achieve. He set strong but realistic goals gor himself and achieved those," said Aztec head coach Matt Steinfeldt. "In our system, making checks in and out of plays at the line of scrimmage is key. Our quarterback has to be a general and a coach on the field."
Crawford moved to Aztec from Durango, Colo., before his freshman year of high school. Earning the starting quarterback job for the Tigers was his goal all along.
"This is what I came down here for. This was my plan, to be the starting quarterback," Crawford said. "Now that I have done that, my goal now is to carry on this year and keep the job going into next year."
Crawford outplayed fellow junior Garrett Heyden to earn the starting spot after the two competed through summer workouts, 7-on-7 scrimmages and early season workouts.
"Competing for the starting job was good for both of us," said Crawford. "It helped the team and both of us improve. We made each other better every day. We definitely became friends over this past year through the competition, which doesn't really make sense, but we really became friends."
Crawford didn't just earn the starting job in the eyes of Steinfeldt, but also his teammates.
"Marcus has come a long way from the beginning of the summer to now," said senior star running back Ryneal Lewis-Adams. "Whether it is in the weight room or with his reads and progressions on the field, it is a big difference."
Crawford is happy to have a versatile athlete such as Lewis-Adams in the huddle with him, but knows it is up to him to make sure his star running back can succeed.
"It can't be all on him. I have to make my throws and make my reads and do what I am supposed to do to allow him to do all those things he can do," Crawford said.
Crawford was Lucero's backup in 2012 and saw some playing time in Week 2 after Lucero went down with an injury in a blowout loss at Goddard High. In his freshman season, Crawford was able to watch as Lucero helped guide the team to a state championship, the school's first and only title since 1953.
"Anytime (Lucero) could tell me something or teach me something, he would always take the time," Crawford said. "He told me what I need to do, and learning behind him was definitely a good experience for me."
Crawford believes the team can surpass last year's finish in which the Tigers fell in the state semifinals to eventual runner-up Los Lunas. He will get his first chance to prove that on Friday when Aztec hits the road to face Los Lunas in Week 1.
"I have personally set the goals higher for myself and the team this year. I want to carry the team and put all of that pressure on myself," he said.John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.