Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 | 2 a.m.
It’s 10 minutes before the start of Tyrell Crosby’s sixth-period weight training class at Green Valley High School and college football coaches are already starting to gather for a glimpse of the 6-foot-6, 295-pound offensive tackle.
Recruiting website rivals.com classifies him as one of the hottest prospects in the region for the class of 2014, and the interest from coaches more than supports the claim.
He’s already received scholarship offers from Oregon, Utah, San Diego State and hometown UNLV, and judging by the traffic jam of rent-a-cars in the Green Valley parking lot, more offers surely will follow.
On this day, assistant coaches from Arizona State and UNR are the first to arrive, adding their business card to a stack that continues to grow each day in Gators coach Brian Castro's office and creating a brief moment of confusion when both expect equal time to sell their program.
Crosby is the most sought-after football prospect in the school’s more than 20-year history, meaning the recruiting process is full of uncharted waters for everybody. Yet, you wouldn’t know Castro is just a second-year coach and is going through the process of having a high-level recruit for the first time.
He’s in complete control, welcoming the coaches to his up-and-coming program and making sure they have all the information — game highlights and academic reports — needed to recruit his star player.
Crosby won’t be able to officially sign with a college until next February, but major schools are jockeying around the clock to secure verbal commitment from prospects. They’ll be at Green Valley for Crosby nonstop the next 12 months.
“The door has been a revolving door. It really has,” Castro said. “A lot of (recruiters) have been coming in. They hear we have a good, big guy and everyone is coming to check him out.”
Crosby appears to be as good as advertised.
Despite the big frame, he’s relatively slender with room to add muscle. He also plays center on the Gators’ basketball team, which partially explains why he’s credited with having exceptional footwork.
His top asset, and one of the reasons Oregon could be interested, is his speed. He’s clocked at just 5.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which isn’t a high-end time for a lineman. But when you consider Green Valley runs a spread offense similar to Oregon’s and Crosby is already programmed to get up field to block, his quickness further elevates his stock.
“I’m better at run blocking because I’m good at getting into the open field and blocking,” Crosby said.
When Crosby debuted with the Green Valley varsity team toward the end of his freshman season, he enjoyed success partially because he towered over the opposition. Although he is still intimidating to line up across from, Crosby has blossomed into a complete player worthy of the recruiting attention.
“He’s just a great athlete,” Castro said. “He is big. He is 290 pounds, but he is a lean 290 pounds. He moves real well. He gets out in our screen game and is able to adjust to some of those quicker defensive backs.”
Crosby said he likes Oregon because its offense resembles Green Valley’s and Utah because he has family in the Salt Lake area. He’ll take unofficial recruiting trips to both schools in the spring.
It has the makings for a wild few months.
“It’s kind of fun, but nerve-racking to me,” said Crosby, who is overly shy and hesitant to talk about himself.
That’s just fine — the long line of coaches swarming outside the Green Valley weight room have already spoken. Crosby is a can’t-miss prospect.