4-Star New Jersey DE Howard Cross III

December 19, 2018

Defensive End Howard Cross III‍ 

ISD: 90 - Four-Star 
Composite: 90.8 - Four-Star 

6’2 - 240
St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.)

Senior Stats
76 tackles, 22 for a loss, 9.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year

Defensive line coach Mike Elston

Recruitment Rundown
This one happened in a hurry. The Irish offered Cross in April and his coach made it clear right away it was the type of offer that would change things. Cross immediately set up a visit to South Bend for the spring game a couple of weeks later and by the time he left campus, he was committed to Notre Dame. The son of former New York Giants tight end, Howard Cross, also had offers from schools like Michigan, Northwestern, Boston College, Rutgers, Duke, Maryland, Tennessee and Virginia Tech among others.

Head Coach Augie Hoffman
“The thing about Howard right now is that he’s so versatile. 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. And he’s an even better human. He is really a tremendous kid. I love him.” 

ISD expert Jamie Uyeyama
There aren’t many players in this 2019 Notre Dame recruiting class that are as fun to watch as Cross. I love watching him play football. Sometimes saying a kid gets after it can feel like a cliché, but Cross is a pitbull unleashed with the way he gets off the the football on certain plays. Recently named the player of the year in New Jersey, he displays disruptive ability when lined up in the interior.

If Cross was two inches taller and twenty pounds heavier, he’d be a top-100 prospect. He’s not, though. That’s the biggest concern about him and why he is a low 4-star prospect. I’m just not sure how big he is going to get and if he doesn’t get much bigger, that’s going to limit how much better he can get.

One thing to remember is his father was the same size as him as a high school senior and ended up being 6’5”. Cross is listed at 6’2”, but that looks a bit generous. Even Cross at this height still has the potential to be a very good pass rusher as a 3-technique. If he ends up 6’5” or close to it, then the ceiling for him rises exponentially. 

Favorite quote to ISD
“I’m going to be honest, back in freshman year, I was not that good at football.”

Highlights from a game Senior Year


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