If you are looking for a sure-handed receiver, look no further than St. Mary's standout, Anthony Crosby. Stating that there wasn't a ball thrown his way that he didn't haul in, Crosby's tenacity for the ball might be as impressive as his obvious nose. "You have to want to bring it in no matter what." Crosby stated of catching the ball. "It's thrown my way, it's mine and there's no way I am letting anyone else get it but me."
That kind of tenaciousness served him well to the point that Anthony had almost 1,000 yards in receiving as a junior, along with scoring 12 times. It's just a warm-up for Crosby though as his year, his sights are set on holding a couple marks that are etched in the school's history. "I want to break the records." Anthony said of the 17 touchdown mark and 1,200 yard mark that exist, both as single-season records in St. Mary's history. "I think I have a great chance to get it this year."
Part of that confidence comes from the fact that his starting QB will be nationally touted, William Tuitama. Tuitama comes off a stellar season where his completion percentage was above 70, he threw 11 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions and William totaled 1,300 yards. Oh, and he did all this actually having to split time with a senior QB. "He's awesome." Anthony stated of Tuitama. "We grew up playing football together and I can't wait to play with him this year. I think he's one of the best in California."
That's saying a lot considering some of the names that are going to come out of this Pacific state and it's pretty obvious why Crosby thinks that for the offense, this could be a banner year.
That's not to say that the offensive side of the ball is the only place the 6'0"-192 pound athlete likes to play. No, within that frame there lies a demon of sorts- a demon that loves to hit. The two teams that have offered Anthony thus far (Arizona State and Nebraska) have both said to Crosby that he could be looked at to play safety as well.
You have to wonder that considering what his potential output as a receiver is this season, what is the attraction to the less glamorous side of the ball. "I love to hit." he said. "I love being able to just unload on someone when I get the chance."
From the safety position, Crosby tallied an incredible 6 interceptions last year. Even more incredible was the fact that he was playing "man-coverage" when he got them. Crosby gave credit to the offenses they faced for most of those opportunities. "In our league, a lot of teams like to run." he said. "So, I end up covering the running back or tight end. It gives me a chance to make some plays, because they aren't getting away from me."
Another "Oh" for you in that Tuitama wasn't the only one splitting time as Crosby got those 6 picks splitting time as well. You starting to get the picture? Versatility like this isn't a trait, it's a gift.
One that has far more than just Nebraska and Arizona State looking at him, but considering that these are the two offers on the table, he's eyeing the Huskers and Sun Devils more than any others. And amongst those two, one just a little more. "If I had to name a leader, it would be Nebraska." he said. "They have just been recruiting me like crazy. The attention has been good and I think coach Wagner (offensive line coach) is a pretty nice guy."
Nowadays, especially considering Anthony's position, any conversation with a California-prep almost has to include an obvious question-if USC offers, does that wipe everyone else out of the picture? Anthony laughed a bit, citing the fact that USC is indeed USC, but it doesn't mean they are a lock for him. "USC is great." he said. "But, it's not like they don't recruit a lot of wide receivers. I'm looking at that, what the depth chart looks like and a lot more than just how close it is or how it fits what I do. I think there are a lot of schools that will fit what I want, so it's not all about them."
Whoever it's about won't be known until well after Antyhony's final season, Crosby not certain if he'll take it all the way to "signing day" or not. Visits are obviously mandatory for him though as he wants to not just learn about a place, but feel just what it's like. "There's no way you can really know anything about a program unless you are actually there." he said. "That's why I have to make my visits so I can see for myself what other schools are all about."
Because of the combination of Tuitama and himself, expectations will be high as to the numbers you are likely to see. It could become one of the better tandems in the country. But, one thing you shouldn't think is that this tandem at the high school level might be one at the collegiate level as well. "Oh, it would be nice to play at the same school." Anthony stated. "It's not going to determine where we go though. It would just be nice, that's all."
We'll definitely keep an eye throughout the year on Crosby and of course, Tuitama as well, because this should be one exciting combination to watch.
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619