The Wolfpacker

July 2013 Football Preview

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Football 2013 The Pack's Blind Side With The Help Of The Singer Family, Senior Left Tackle Rob Crisp Has Turned His Life Around T By Matt Carter he Hollywood blockbuster "The Blind Side" debuted in theaters Nov. 20, 2009. The film was based on the improbable story of Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher. Oher survived a tumultuous childhood that included multiple stays in foster care and times of homelessness, was adopted by the Tuohy family, found football, and eventually became a blue-chip recruit who signed with Ole Miss and developed into a first-round NFL Draft pick. The movie was a hit. It grossed almost $310 million at the box office, and star Sandra Bullock won the Oscar for Best Actress in her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy, the strong-willed matriarch of the family that helped turn Oher's life around. On the first night the movie was released, the Singer family of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Rob Crisp watched it together. For them, the film was like seeing their own life story, a journey that would seem only possible in Hollywood. Meeting The Singers It's difficult to imagine that Crisp, a senior offensive tackle at NC State that checks in at 6-7, 298 pounds and is blessed with atypical athleticism for a player his size, was once bullied. As a young child, Crisp was always the big boy, although he preferred the term "big-boned." Crisp was also the quiet one that wanted to be alone. His mother Cassandra Platto could not afford to buy him the cool shoes and clothes. "I was the oddball," Crisp remembered. "This big, fat oddball kid that everyone picked on." Crisp eventually got into basketball, and the sport provided an outlet that allowed him to take out any aggression and frustration that was building up. Sports became a love for Crisp and about the only thing for which he had a passion. He hated school, and his home life was at times difficult. He had few friends as well, but one he was particularly close with was Audi Smith, who was playing AAU basketball with Pete Singer. Singer's father, also Pete Singer, helped sponsor the team known as the North Carolina All-Stars. "It was a group of country boys that were all from more rural areas and that didn't really get to do things before this," the elder Singer recalled. Smith helped recruit Crisp to come play with them. It was Crisp's first introduction to AAU basketball. "He was a good kid, a big kid," Singer remembered. "He was definitely bigger, taller, wider, everything." No one knew at the time, but through Smith Crisp's destiny would soon be intertwined with the Singers. Thanks in large part to his relationship with the Singer family, Crisp went from potential high school dropout to five-star offensive lineman. Photo by Ken Martin 48  ■  the wolfpacker 48-50,52.Robert Crisp.indd 48 7/2/13 12:31 PM

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