At 6’8” 320 pounds, Nation Ford senior Travell Crosby is hard to miss. What is more difficult is getting him to open up and talk about himself.
The Division I college football recruit who is being looked at by several Atlantic Coast Conference schools, including defending national champion Clemson University, is much happier talking about other things.
A defensive lineman, Crosby, 17, is known for plugging holes and stopping the run up the middle. As the season has progressed, Crosby said he feels better about how his play is improving. And so has the team as a whole. Nation Ford started 0-3 before reeling off three wins heading into Friday’s home game against Rock Hill.
“I think I have been doing well,” he said. “I think we are getting back on track. I like working on my craft and getting better.”
Crosby has been playing football for 11 years and as he has grown, he started getting more and more attention from colleges. Despite all the attention, Crosby is keeping his options open. He’s looking at several colleges, including Coastal Carolina University, South Carolina State and the University of North Carolina. He has taken visits to Clemson and Virginia Tech, but said he wants to focus on a school that will offer his intended major — marine biology.
Northern Iowa and South Carolina State have already offered scholarships.
What attracted Crosby to the subject was when a friend of his was stung by a jellyfish at the beach. That led to a series of questions about life in the ocean.
“I used to go to the beach a lot and I would like to know more about what’s in the ocean,” he said. “I started getting into it and thought it was pretty cool.”
With his height, Crosby also plays basketball for Nation Ford and said being that tall has its ups and downs, but he’s become used to getting special attention because of it.
Crosby, who benches 345 pounds and squats 400 pounds, uses his physically to his advantage on the football field.
“It’s a gift,” he said. “I don’t like the attention, but it has its advantages. Physically I am stronger. On the field, I can see into the backfield better. I have a better visual of what the other team is running.”
Despite his quiet demeanor, Crosby has bloomed at football and has really come around on the field his senior season, according to defensive line coach Jeremy Ryan.
“Travell has been forced to play roles he isn’t used too,” Ryan said. “But he does his job well. He is very intelligent and has a good work ethic.”
With the attention he is getting from colleges, Ryan said Crosby will have his choice of where he wants to play.
“Who knows where he will end up?” Ryan said. “I would like to see him stay in state so I can go see him play.”
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @MacBanksFM
Falcons lose at home
The Rock Hill Bearcats clawed their way back from being down two scores to get a 36-14 win over the Nation Ford Falcons to open Region 4-5A play on the road. Rock Hill (2-5, 1-0) came into the game looking to get off on the right foot in region play. Nation Ford (3-4, 1-1) sought its fourth straight win and second in as many region games.