After playing 10 games last year, Crawford used a medical redshirt because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He could have transferred to another program by taking advantage of the NCAA rule for fifth-year graduate students.
Crawford's decision was made tougher when Bill Carmody was fired after last season. Crawford had been recruited by and played under Carmody for four seasons. Carmody recently was replaced by Chris Collins.
"I can't wait to be on the court with my Northwestern teammates again this upcoming season," Crawford said in a statement. "Coach Collins has brought great energy to the program and we all believe in his vision. I have loved my experience here at NU and I'm proud to call it home. I'm ready to do all I can to lead this group and make my last year at Northwestern a great one."
Crawford averaged 13.5 points in 10 games this past season before having surgery on his shoulder. He averaged 16.1 points and was an All-Big Ten third-team selection as a junior. He has scored 1,418 career points and ranks 10th in school history.
Crawford's return should give Collins a more competitive team, which returns seven players who have started in the past two seasons, in his first year at Northwestern. Collins said in a statement he was excited to have Crawford back.
"We're all thrilled that Drew has decided to remain here at Northwestern for his fifth year," Collins said. "It, obviously, will be a tremendous asset to have him continue to be a part of the program, not only because of his ability on the court, but he's also an outstanding leader. Drew has invested a great deal into the program over the last four years. I look forward to having the opportunity to coach him and having him be a key member of our team."