Cross signs scholarship with Coastal Carolina
By C.R. Cumbee
Marion—While many football players inked their names on scholarship offers during National Signing Day in February, several others were hoping their playing careers hadn’t come to an end.
After a bit of a delay, Creek Bridge offensive/defensive lineman Aykelle Cross secured his future as he signed with Coastal Carolina University at a ceremony at the school.
“Aykelle has a great upside. He’s a smart kid and he’s very devoted to the sport. I think he’s going to be a good player for Coastal in the future,” Creek Bridge football coach Jimmy Vereen said.
“It’s a big step up to Division I, but I think in time, he can make an impact. The speed of the game will be a little faster than he’s seen, but he’s a very hard worker.”
Cross will play the 3-technique (defensive tackle) for the Chanticleers, who moved to the FBS level this past year to compete in the Sun Belt conference.
The 6’2, 290-pounder recorded nearly 60 tackles for the Warriors last fall, including 21 tackles for loss, and was a three-year starter. He was also a starter on the school’s basketball team.
“He’s a real leader and his teammates gravitate towards him. He sets a good example to follow and everybody on the team loves him,” Vereen said.
Creek Bridge, one of the smallest schools in the high school league, has now produced a pair of Division-I football players over the last two seasons.
Cross follows former offensive lineman Darren Butler, who signed with South Carolina State in 2016.
Although the results on the field as a team haven’t been as good as he had hoped, Vereen is still proud that those two individuals have succeeded.
It also goes to show that if you’re talented, college coaches can find you no matter what school you attend.
“We play in one of the best conferences in the state in 1A. After battling with those kinds of teams, it gets those guys ready for anything,” Vereen said.