The 2019 recruiting class still has some players who have yet to sign before we completely move our attention to the 2020 class and the top remaining player who had yet to announce where he would be going and sign with the school he’s going to play his college football at was four-star safety Nick Cross. He’s ranked 55th overall in the 247 Sports rankings, ranking as the number four overall safety and the top ranked prospect in the state of Maryland.
Cross has the size to be a prototype at safety, standing at exactly 6 feet tall, but he has a nice frame, being listed at 206 pounds, which is already good for someone who has yet to step foot on a college campus, but on top of that he appears to have the frame of someone who could eventually add 20 pounds by the time he is done playing college football.
The strengths of Cross’s game is his strength and physicality he plays with, while also having elite athleticism. He tested at The Opening Finals with a 4.43 40-yard dash time and during The Opening Regionals he showed out with a 4.28 shuttle time and perhaps most impressively, a 38.5 inch vertical.
Cross does need to work on his man-to-man coverage to become the most well-rounded safety that he can be, but that’s something that can be coached. When you turn on his film he plays with an extremely high motor and he’s not afraid to hit, which is something you can’t teach. He checks all the boxes of becoming an elite-level college safety before going to the NFL.
Now onto his recruitment. Cross had been committed to Florida State since September 3rd of last year and that was after taking official visits to Auburn, Alabama and Florida among others, so this was a huge get for Florida State. According to 247 Sports, Cross was the second-highest commit, trailing only four-star cornerback Akeem Dent. His recruitment was pretty quiet up until Mike Locksley was hired to be the head coach at Maryland.
Locksley was able to go in and flip Nick Cross, which is huge because not only is Cross immensely talented, but he’s from DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland. Being able to get top prospects from the state of Maryland has to be a top priority for Mike Locksley and his staff, and being able to keep Nick Cross home is a big deal.
Nick Cross is the second four-star recruit that Locksley was able to bring in since his hiring, also bringing in four-star quarterback Lance LeGendre from New Orleans on signing day.