The prolonged wait for the signature of coveted DeMatha (Md.) safety Nick Cross was another big win for Maryland as head coach Mike Locksley and the staff came in firing on the trail. After reeling in Wise (Md.) receiver Isaiah Hazel in the early signing period, then Louisiana quarterback Lance Legendre on signing day, Cross was the cherry on top of a sprint to close the 2019 class.
Heading into his sophomore year, he gives the Maryland defense a young star as he gains national attention. Athlon released their preseason college football magazine and Cross was named as third team All-Big Ten safety alongside Iowa junior Jack Koerner. Leading the way were Wisconsin senior Eric Burrell and Michigan sophomore Dax Hill, with Illinois junior Sydney Brown and Penn State senior Lamont Wade making second team.
His addition heading into 2019 gave Cross a chance to hit the ground running from day one as his first career appearance came in the week one win against Howard. Cross went on to play in all twelve games as a true freshman and came down first career interception came in week four as the competition between he and then-sophomore Jordan Mosley began to heat up. A shakeup to the starting lineup was made just three games later when the Hoosiers came to town, the day that Cross earned his first career start to help stop the high-powered Indiana offense led by Michael Penix and Peyton Ramsey.
Cross finished the final five games of the season as the starter, all while he flashed his range and ball skills as the Terps’ next rising star in the secondary. Cross led the team with pair of interceptions and five pass breakups as he racked up 45 tackles along the backline, including a career-high nine tackles against Ohio State.
That added experience in year one will serve him well heading into 2020. Maryland is tentatively scheduled to begin voluntary, individual workouts on June 15 as the team looks to kick off year two under head coach Mike Locksley. While the defense will look to replace former starters Antoine Brooks and Marcus Lewis, Cross will be more relied on as a sophomore alongside veteran safety Antwaine Richardson.