BREAKING: 2019 Four-Star DE Howard Cross III Gives Commitment To Notre Dame

April 22, 2018

The pipeline to New Jersey is real for Notre Dame as the Irish have landed a commitment from 2019 St. Joseph Regional defensive end Howard Cross III‍. 

The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder was in town for the Blue-Gold Game, and that’s all he needed to see.

“I went there and it was everything I was looking for in a college; great education, great football, great community, great everything,” Cross told Irish Sports Daily on Sunday.

“I got to see everything, from spending time with the team to the game and the education part of it.”

The players he was around this weekend made a major impression.

“I feel like I got to know them really well and I really liked them,” he said.

Cross also had a chance to speak with former Irish star offensive lineman and fellow New Jersey native Quenton Nelson, who told him Notre Dame's 4 For 40 plan is real.

“He said, ‘This is a great, great place to be, great place long term,’” Cross said of Nelson.

Notre Dame does project the four-star prospect at defensive end, but St. Joseph Regional coach Augie Hoffman moves his star all over the defensive line. 

“The thing about Howard right now is that he’s so versatile,” said Hoffman. “He plays every position for us. He plays defensive end, he plays tackle, he plays nose. He really excels on the interior because I think his skillset is too much for some of the high school interior guys to handle. He’s explosive. He’s powerful. He’s relentless. He’s everything you would want in a defensive lineman.” 

Cross was looking for a balance between academics, athletics and his spiritual life, which Notre Dame his every mark. 

“He’s an even better human,” stated Hoffman. “He is really a tremendous kid. I love him. He’s a great leader for the guys. He’s well-spoken. He would actually fit in great – and that’s hard for me to say because I’m a BC guy. It’s hard, but you know what, he’s a great kid. I’m happy for him because he wanted Notre Dame.” 

Cross is the son of former Alabama and New York Giants tight end Howard Cross. Hoffman believes the younger Cross’ pedigree helps him more off the field than on it.

“His father, Howard, being a 12 or 13-year vet in the NFL and playing at Alabama, he understands the process,” Hoffmann explains. “He understands exactly what it takes to be successful on the field, but I think, more importantly, his work ethic and everything he’s done off the field with him as a young man has helped him become the player he is. I think that stuff is more important than anything.

“The football on the field is the easy part. He works hard, he takes his craft seriously, and he’s gotten better.”

Notre Dame is building quite the 2019 defensive line class as Cross joins defensive lineman Jacob Lacey‍ and Hunter Spears‍.  He gives the Irish six total verbal commits in the class along with defensive backs KJ Wallace‍ and Litchfield Ajavon‍ and offensive lineman John Olmstead‍. 


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