4-Star DE Howard Cross III Commits to Notre Dame

Notre Dame is putting together some kind of defensive recruiting class for 2019 and they added to their haul on Sunday with one of the best defensive ends in the country – Howard Cross III.  Cross, a recent recipient of a Notre Dame scholarship offer, is Notre Dame’s third 4-star defensive line commitment already for the class of 2019.

Notre Dame has had an impressive week on the recruiting trail.  In addition to adding Cross on Sunday, the Irish picked up commitments from 4-star safety Litchfield Ajavon on Saturday and 4-star offensive lineman John Olmstead on Friday.

Like Olmstead, Cross comes to Notre Dame from New Jersey (Montvalle, NJ in this case) in a year in which the Garden State is loaded with talent.  247 Sports rates Cross as a composite 4-star prospect and the #19 SDE in the country while checking in just inside the 247 top 247 at #246.  All of Notre Dame’s six current commitments rate as 4-star players on 247 and all but KJ Wallace are within the current Top 247.

Cross gives Notre Dame three 4-star lineman on the defensive side of the ball alone for 2019 joining Hunter Spears and Jacob Lacey .  Cross is the first of the DL in the class to project as an outside player.  Spears is listed as a defensive end, but will most likely play on the inside at the collegiate level.  Strong-side defensive end, however, is where Cross projects once he arrives on campus.

Notre Dame only offered Cross a scholarship on April 3, but one visit was all it took to get him to pull the trigger and select the Irish over the likes of Boston College, Virginia Tech, Michigan, NC State, and Tennessee.

Even with three commitments on the defensive line among the six current members of the class of 2019, don’t expect Notre Dame to slow down recruiting the position.  The Irish staff is still looking to add another SDE in addition to adding one or two weakside defensive ends as well.

Cross comes to Notre Dame with an impressive lineage.  His father Howard Cross was a tight end for the New York Giants from 1989 until 2001.  The elder Cross, an Alabama alum, has spent his post playing career in broadcasting for various New York sports outlets such as YES.

You have to like what Notre Dame has done recruiting so far this year – especially on the defensive line now that the Irish staff has secured commitments from three4-star prospects.  The Irish have struggled recruiting the defensive line over the last few years – at least in terms of volume – though they have landed a few impact linemen along the way.  The class of 2019 is shaping up to have both depth and talent though and there are still numerous highly rated linemen considering the Irish.

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  1. Interesting. I was watching the 1987 Notre Dame vs Alabama on YouTube last night. The tight end Cross kept making plays. Weird coincidence because I don’t think his son was even on my radar until I saw this article today. Hope he has a great career at Notre Dame. Go Irish.

  2. Several takeaways from the entirety of the Spring:

    (1) The coaching staff has settled down, the immediately ambitious have left as have some incompetents. Great machines are not noisy, they have a QUIET hum. So too, this coaching staff. This appears to be the most balanced, competent coaching staff since the early 90’s.

    (2) Depth on the defensive roster. The most astounding thing about 2012 is that they were able to protect KeiVarae Russell and Matthias Farley. Neither was ready for prime time. Not any more.
    There is an abundance of options at CB and S. Perhaps no Jeff Burris or Todd Lyght (I am hesitant about the coronation of Julian Love) but there are a lot of ways to go.

    (3) This team is athletic and fit. We got a couple of glimpses against Georgia and LSU when the Irish were not out-athleted by the two traditional SEC powers. We will not be “out-athlete” or “outphysicalled” by any of our regular season opponents.

    (4) For the first time in this millennium, we will not be short on the roster, not reaching for awarding scholarships to walkons. We are still several over the limit for now, and while there are some obvious candidates who may wish to move on, there will not be a big shortfall.

    (5) There is harmony within the football team (in CONTRADISTINCTION to the vile hatred in the blogosphere and the virulent self-loathing at some of the websites). It is a healthy culture.

    (6) partly as a result of (5) the “Whew” factor on this team is the return of the up-the-middle core of the defense: Tillery, Bonner, Coney and Tranquill. They may have stayed for NFL draft purposes, but they seem comfortable with their teammates and coaches. This has not always been the case in the recent past.

    (7) Football remains a 22 man game. Modernity, “gayness” and fantasy football have led to
    “creeping quarterbackism” Riddle me this: what are the five WEAKEST starting positions.?

    (8) The team is a “healthy organism” going into the Summer. The players had enough success last year, sufficient comity during the Spring to continue to work hard, and absorb a summer “incident” or two. The team gets a booster shot in June when some of these other kids arrive. Guys like Derrik Allen, Shayne Simon, Ademilola(s) are not arriving to merely matriculate. They will push the upperclassmen.

    (9) I still don’t know the full impact of Bill Rees’ hiring, but it seems huge.

    (10) The team is good, the fans a hot mess. I have seen this film before, in ’64, ’73, ’77 and ’87, inter alii.

    (11) I am proud to be a Notre Dame fan. And I LIKE this team.

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