Coach Speak: Tyler Cross

Syracuse landed a big commitment in defensive tackle Tyler Cross on Wednesday. CuseNation.com caught up with the Chapel Hill head coach to breakdown what the Orange are getting.

Douglassville (Ga.) Chapel Hill defensive tackle Tyler Cross committed to Syracuse on Wednesday. Chapel Hill head coach Justin DeShon believes the Orange are getting a talented player with a lot of upside.

"Tyler is a powerful kid," DeShon said. "He's 6-foot-3, 280. He's so strong. His legs and upper body are so strong. When he gets guys extended, he can go wherever he wants.

"For his overall size, he has great feet and great hand movement. He's a tireless worker so I'm proud of him."

At the next level, coach DeShone believes Cross' strength will be his best attribute.

"From playing college ball myself, what he has is overall size," DeShon said. "He's got the strength of a sophomore or junior, and even some seniors, at the college level. His bench press is through the roof along with his power train and squat.

"He's not going to take a lot of development in the weight room. I think he can get on the field right away. He's so strong that I think he's a guy who can play at that level."

Cross is going through a bit of a transition from his junior year to his senior season. That transition will give him more experience being utilized in the same way as he will at the collegiate level.

"The scheme he was in last year under a different staff, he was the nose (tackle)," DeShon said. "Where he's been working hard in the offseason and where we've been working him at is a three technique. Getting him to play outside of his shoulders. Get his hips a little more flexible.

"All of those things that a three technique needs to do instead of an odd man front nose. It's coming fast. His hand movement and hip placement are coming along real fast. I think he'll flourish as a three technique for us this year and I think that's where Syracuse will project him at as well."

Coach DeShon thought the key to Cross choosing the Orange was defensive backs coach Fred Reed, who was his primary recruiter.

"Coach Reed did a great job recruiting him within the parameters of what he could do," DeShon said. "Coming down all the way from Syracuse to Douglassville, Georgia. Taking to Tyler and seeing Tyler. They did everything they possibly could. I thought coach Reed did a great job at projecting how Syracuse was.

"The facilities and how the campus was would be very friendly to Tyler. That he would enjoy his time up there at Syracuse."

While Cross is a standout on the field, he excels in the classroom as well.

"That's one of his greatest strengths," DeShon said. "He's a 3.5 (GPA) kid. He comes from a great family that focuses on academics. It really is his first priority is work in the classroom and that's why he's been rewarded with an offer from Syracuse."

Another positive aspect of Cross is that he is a natural leader.

"Off the field, he's a tireless worker," DeShon said. "He's always wanting to do something with lifting or something for football. For a big guy at his age, that's a little rare. He's a captain for us. He's a natural leader. A big guy being recruited as hard as he is, as a high school coach you want those guys to a leaders because those are the ones that kids gravitate to.

"Tyler is a leader. He backs it up with what he does on the field and in practice. He sets an excellent example for younger kids."


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