Things have started to perk up for one of the Peach State's finest prospects. Izaan Cross, from Flowery Branch (Ga.) High School, is one of the state's top big men. Most schools like the 6-4.5 and 253 pounder as a defensive end while another power likes him at tight end. For Cross, his future college position doesn't really matter as long as he just gets an opportunity to play.
"I just want to see the field," Cross said. "Everyone but Florida wants me as a defensive end. The Gators want me as a tight end. I block well for sure because I have good size and good feet. I keep them (defenders) in front of me. I can catch pretty well too. Defensively I am a good edge rusher. I play on the strong side and I play the run well. I hold my ground and pursue well."
Last season as a junior Cross recorded 77 tackles, 14 hurries, five sacks, and three fumble recoveries. He played sparingly on offense because "they really needed me on defense last year." This fall he expects to play quite a bit of offense.
In terms of recruiting Cross has five scholarship offers at this point but that will change and change very soon with the May Evaluation period here and his spring practice starting in one week.
"Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Central Florida, Oklahoma, and South Carolina have all offered and that's my five favorites. They all want me to play defense.
"I know at Georgia Tech I can get a great degree, one of the best around. You have to love their academics. Tech is close to home and they have cool coaches. They were the first school that offered me and that's real special to me. Georgia Tech was pretty much the first of everything to me. Again, that's special to me. I am pretty anxious to see them play. I went to their first spring practice and it was sloppy, but that's what you would expect.
"Wake Forest is a school I followed this past year. I would like to get up there and see them. Their program is nice. I love that mascot and I hear it's a pretty school. It's just an outstanding school both for football and academics.
"I went to Central Florida on my spring break. It's beautiful. You don't know how nice it is until you get there and see for yourself. The football team and program are on the rise and they have nice facilities. It's in Orlando and that is such a great area. I am pretty cool with their coaches up there. Coach (Brent) Key and (George) Godsey are awesome.
"Oklahoma is one of the top programs in the nation... period. Once I saw that letter (offer) I said 'wow'. I had to pinch myself. My dad starting shouting like he was in church again. You constantly see great players come from OU. They don't get in trouble, Coach (Bob) Stoops runs a clean ship, and he has great team year in and year out.
"Oh, man, Steve Spurrier is a cool man. I visited South Carolina over spring break as well. It was a real nice area and I saw an intense practice. He actually hired a magician to perform before practice, to loosen them up. Then they went after it. It would seem great to play for him."
Cross also made another visit on his spring break and that was to Gainesville (Fla.).
"I went to the Florida spring game and I said is this is a spring game? 61,000? Wow. I was big eyed the entire time I was there. It's such a nice atmosphere."
Today Cross learned as well that two other regional schools may be on the verge of scholarship offers, one from the SEC and one from the ACC.
"N.C. State and Mississippi State came by today and I think they are close to offering. Florida and Tennessee have a big interest as does West Virginia.
"I am definitely wanting to find a school where I can enjoy everything away from the game. How will I enjoy life after the football season is over? That's important. Being away from home doesn't bother me but I don't want to go too far away. I have to feel comfortable. I also want the best opportunity to graduate and play ball."