Su'a Cravens

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Suʻa Cravens
refer to caption
Cravens poising for a photo with a fan at USC in 2013
No. 36 Washington Redskins
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1995-07-07) July 7, 1995 (age 21)
Place of birth: Los Angeles, California
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 222 lb (101 kg)
Career information
High school: Vista Murrieta (CA)
College: USC
NFL draft: 2016 / Round: 2 / Pick: 53
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at

Suʻa Cravens (born July 7, 1995) is an American football linebacker for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at USC as a safety and outside linebacker. He was drafted as a safety in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Redskins.

High school career[edit]

A native of Los Angeles, California, Cravens attended Temecula Valley High School as a freshman in 2009. He then transferred to Vista Murrieta High School as a sophomore, where he had 90 tackles, 8 sacks, 5 fumble recoveries and 3 forced fumbles. He earned Max Preps Sophomore All-American second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore first team, and All-Southwestern League first team honors.

In his junior year in 2011, Cravens played linebacker and defensive back on defense, as well as running back and wide receiver on offense. He was Max Preps All-American first team, All-American second team, Max Preps Junior All-American first team, Underclass All-American first team, along with other honors. For the year, he had 98 tackles, 11 sacks, 3 interceptions, 6 deflections, 1 fumble recovery and 4 forced fumbles on defense and also caught 20 passes for 239 yards (17.0 avg.) with 4 touchdowns and ran for 673 yards on 75 carries (9.0 avg.) with 15 touchdowns on offense, as Vista Murrieta went 14–0 and captured the CIF Inland Division title with a 35–28 win over perennial powerhouse Corona Centennial.[1]

His 2012 senior season honors included USA Today All-USA Defensive Player of the Year,[2] Parade All-American, Prep Star All-American Dream Team, and Max Preps All-American first team. Cravens compiled 97 tackles, 8 sacks, 3 interceptions, 4 deflections, 2 fumble recoveries, 4 forced fumbles and 3 blocked punts on defense in 2012, and also caught 21 passes for 342 yards (16.3 avg.) and ran for 200 yards on 17 carries (11.8 avg.) with 14 total touchdowns on offense, helping lead Vista Murrieta to a 13–1 record. Their only loss came in the CIF Inland Division final against Corona Centennial.[3]

Cravens also participated in track & field at Vista Murrieta, where he competed in jumps and posted a personal-best leap of 1.93 meters (6 feet, 4 inches) in the high jump.[4]


Regarded as a five-star recruit by, Cravens was listed as the No. 1 safety prospect in his class and the No. 12 prospect overall in the country. He played in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.[5] Cravens chose the Trojans over offers from nearly every BCS program in the nation, including Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio State. Cravens became the Trojans’ eighth commitment for the 2013 class and the fifth 5-star rated recruit in a class featuring quarterback Max Browne, defensive lineman Kenny Bigelow and running backs Ty Isaac and Justin Davis. He enrolled at USC in the spring of 2013 after graduating a semester early from high school.

College career[edit]

Cravens finished his distinguished career at USC with 199 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, nine interceptions and four forced fumbles.

Freshman season (2013)[edit]

Cravens playing against the Utah Utes in 2013.

Cravens started at strong safety as a first-year freshman and made quite an impact. Overall in 2013, while appearing in and starting 13 games (he suffered a groin injury against Utah and missed the Oregon State game), he had 52 tackles, including 1.5 for losses of 4 yards, plus 4 interceptions for 54 yards (13.5 avg), 1 deflection, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. He also returned a kickoff for 33 yards and a punt for 1 yard. He made the 2013 Sporting News Freshman All-American first team, Athlon Freshman All-American first team, Phil Steele Freshman All-American first team, Freshman All-American first team and True Freshman All-American second team. He was also an All-Pac-12 honorable mention. He missed the last half of spring practice after having surgery for a torn cartilage in his knee.[6]

Sophomore season (2014)[edit]

Cravens returned as a starter for his sophomore year in 2014. He was asked to play a hybrid strong safety/strongside outside linebacker spot. Starting all 13 games for the second consecutive season, he compiled 68 tackles, including a team-best 17 for losses (more than any defensive back in the nation), 5 sacks, 9 deflections and a team-best 3 interceptions (he returned one of them 31 yards for a touchdown). His 17 tackles for loss in 2014 were the most by a non-defensive lineman at USC since linebacker Markus Steele had 17 in 2000. For his season efforts, he was named to the All-American third team by the Associated Press (AP) and Athlon, fourth team All-American by Phil Steele and was an All-American honorable mention, as well as Sophomore All-American first team. He made the 2014 All-Pac-12 first team, as well as the Athlon All-Pac-12 first team, Phil Steele All-Pac-12 first team and All-Pac-12 first team. He won USC's Defensive Perimeter Player of the Year Award. Against Oregon State in week 4, he returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown to open the scoring against the Beavers and also had a team-best 6 tackles, including 2 for losses (with his first career sack) to earn Chuck Bednarik National Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Junior season (2015)[edit]

Cravens returned for his third year as a starter, again playing strongside outside linebacker (a hybrid safety-linebacker role) as a junior in 2015.

After completing his Junior season at the University of Southern California in 2015, he opted to forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the 2016 NFL draft.[7]

Professional career[edit]

2016 NFL Combine[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 1 in 226 lb 32 1/8 in 9 1/2 in 4.69 s 4.41 s 6.92 s 30 1/2 in 9 ft 6 in 16 reps
All values from NFL Combine and the USC pro day.[8]

Upon entering the draft, Cravens was projected in the NFL as a hybrid linebacker-safety, being compared to Arizona Cardinals player Deone Bucannon.[9]

Washington Redskins[edit]

Cravens was selected with the 53rd overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins.[9] On May 1, 2016, the Redskins announced that they intended to use him as a safety. It was also announced that he would wear 36 as his jersey number due to him being a fan of the late Redskins safety, Sean Taylor, who wore 36 as a rookie before switching to 21 the following season.[10]

Career statistics[edit]


Regular season statistics Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Season Team GP GS Comb Total Ast Sck Tfl PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF FR FR YDS
2013 USC 13 13 53 39 14 0.0 2.5 1 4 54 13.5 54 0 2 1 14
2014 USC 13 13 68 49 19 5.0 17.0 9 3 47 15.7 31 1 0 0 0
2015 USC 14 14 86 46 40 5.5 15.0 6 2 32 16.0 32 0 2 0 0
Totals 40 40 207 134 73 10.5 34.5 16 9 133 14.8 54 1 4 1 14



A native of Temecula, California, Cravens is the son of Kevin and Yolanda Cravens. His older sister, Malia, was on the women's basketball team at Hawaii in 2012 before transferring to USC, where she was briefly on the 2013 Women of Troy basketball team as a guard before joining the track team as a high jumper.[12] His older brother, Siaki, was a defensive lineman at Hawaii who previously played at Utah.[13] His grandfather, Jack Cravens, played basketball and baseball at Brigham Young from 1957 to 1959. His cousins, Jordan and Brynn Cameron, played football (2008–10) and women's basketball (2005–09), respectively, at USC; Jordan also played men's basketball at USC in 2008 and BYU in 2007 and now plays as a tight end for the NFL's Miami Dolphins. Another cousin, Colby Cameron, was a quarterback at Louisiana Tech (2009–12) before signing with the NFL's Carolina Panthers.

With family roots from Hawaii, Cravens is a distant cousin of San Diego Chargers linebacker Manti Te'o.[14] His mother is second cousin with former Arizona State and NFL safety David Fulcher.[14] His uncle is married to Kyle Whittingham's sister.[14]


External links[edit]