During his collegiate career, "Tumble" Crisp was named by Walter Camp, father of the All-American teams, as one of the nation's best 14 football starters. Enroute to that honor, Crisp captioned the first Akron Central High football varsity in 1911 just as he subsequently did the first Akron U grid squad in 1914. Prior to those years, the schools were Akron High and Buchtel College. After graduation from Akron U where he performed at left tackle, Crisp played pro football with the Canton Bulldogs, Akron Indians, and Akron Pros. While with the Bulldogs, he was a teammate of Jim Thorpe.