Justin Crozier considers himself a natural at goalkeeper.
But the Evans High School senior just found his calling to soccer a little more than two years ago.
At a signing ceremony Thursday, Crozier committed to play for Mercer University.
“It’s surprising,” Crozier said of being asked to play at a Division 1 school.
As a sophomore, Crozier, 18, started playing soccer with friends.
“Then I started getting into playing in the goal; just started picking it up once I realized I was just a natural with it,” Crozier said.
Crozier tried out for the school team as a junior and became the team’s starting goalkeeper as a senior.
“He loves the game,” Evans soccer coach Brian Killips said. “He loves it. He’s a kid who wants to be out at practice.”
Crozier helped lead the Evans team to an 11-7 season and earned an honorable mention spot on the 2012 Region 2-AAAA team.
As a junior, Crozier played a couple of tournaments with the South Carolina Bulls and spent his senior year playing with Augusta Arsenal.
Kevin Asmann, Crozier’s Arsenal coach, said Crozier works very hard and spends lots of extra time at the club practicing.
“His work ethic is a true testament to where he’s going,” Asmann said. “I think he’ll just blossom there.”
Crozier said he’s signed on with Mercer with the understanding the team already has an all-conference returning goalkeeper. He’s sees that as a chance to learn and get better under a more experienced player and more coaching.
“That’s OK,” Crozier said. “I’ll get in there and I’ll work my way up.”