Cross, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end from Flowery Branch (Ga.), has collected 13 scholarship offers, including offers from Central Florida, Georgia Tech, Maryland, NC State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Florida, Tulane, Wake Forest, and West Virginia.
"[Recruiting has been] gradual, but I'd say it might have sped up more during the spring," Cross said. "But I've gradually received offers and received a lot of mail and talked to a lot of coaches. After basketball season that's when everything started picking up."
Hagen, who now recruits areas of Georgia for UNC, made a recruiting visit to Flowery Branch High School recently. During his stay, Hagen watched the Falcons' spring practice.
"He seemed really interested in me, so I kind of expected [an offer] later on down the road," Cross said.
A couple of days after being offered by UNC, Cross called John Blake, the Tar Heels' defensive line coach.
"He sounds like a really cool guy," Cross said. "That was the first time I talked to Coach Blake. He was telling me his philosophy, just introducing himself to me, [and] letting me know how he does things."
Back in February, Cross attended Georgia Tech's Junior Day for his first unofficial visit. He later traveled to Central Florida and South Carolina during his spring break.
Throughout the coming months, Cross plans to continue to make unofficial visits to his offering schools.
"I was talking to my dad and since I have about five schools that are in the Carolina area, I might just make a big circle through there and see all the schools [in the Carolinas]," Cross said. "The furthest we're talking about driving is eight hours. I think we could make that happen – I'm not sure yet. It could be over the summer and maybe as soon as the next month."
Cross said he is looking forward to visiting Chapel Hill.
"I'm really anxious about getting down there and seeing what they're about," Cross said.
In spite of his efforts, Cross has been unable to develop a list of favorite schools.
"Truthfully, I could tell you a top five but it would change every other day, because there's a new school that always comes into the equation," Cross said. "I was trying to sit down and evaluate a solid five with my family yesterday, but I really couldn't do it.
"I'm just going to take it very slowly. I probably won't commit or anything like that until after my football season or during my basketball season – that's when I'll really started thinking hard and evaluating. But I'm just taking it slow right about now and try to enjoy my summer, take as many unofficial visits as I can and then we'll go from there."
Whenever the time comes to either narrow his choices down or make a verbal commitment, Cross said he will be factoring in academics, defensive scheme, and student life.
Cross' junior season was his first at defensive end – he had played the two prior at tight end – and he recorded 80 tackles, six sacks, and 14 quarterback hurries.