Charles Cross

Charles Cross appears during an event when he received his All-American jersey. (Photo by Mark Thornton)

Standout Laurel High O-lineman commits to Mississippi State

Laurel High School All-American offensive tackle Charles Cross will be staying close to home to play college ball next season.

The star lineman this week committed to Mississippi State to play football next season. According to 24/7Sports’ Gene’s Page — dedicated to Mississippi State football — Cross made his official visit to Starkville this past weekend and shortly after a closed-door meeting with MSU Coach Joe Moorhead and Cross’ parents, he took to social media to announce his decision.

“Things have gone pretty well,” Cross told the Internet sports service. “It’s been great to have all of those offers and just have a chance to be recognized. It’s a big compliment for me.”

Cross is listed as standing 6-feet, 6-inches tall and weighs 269 pounds. The athletic offensive lineman anchored the Laurel High offensive line and helped the Tornadoes to the Region 3-5A championship.

He is set to play in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star football game Monday night in Montgomery, Ala. He is listed as the 11th best offensive line recruit in the country.

Earlier this fall, Cross was selected as one of only two players from Mississippi — the other being West Jones’ Byron Young — to be selected to the U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio in January.

Cross and Young appeared on the cover of the Leader-Call’s annual football magazine this fall and was the subject of a competitive recruiting process that had college coaches flocking to The City Beautiful.

During the West Jones game in October Between the Bricks, Moorhead stood on the Laurel High sideline, as did an assistant coach from Florida State.

Gene’s page reported that Cross chose Mississippi State over finalists Ole Miss and Southern California and that Cross took official visits to all three schools.

Cross will have two opportunities to sign a National Letter of Intent — between Dec. 19 and 21 in the early signing period and then again on the first Wednesday in Februry, which has historically been National Signing Day.

Cross told Gene’s Page that he was impressed with Mississippi State.

“I already knew what the sales pitch was,” Cross said. “I was just ready to come back up here and make my decision. I am going to be signing in December. The main thing for me was just finding the place that I was most comfortable at. I wanted to find the place where I felt the most at home.”

Cross said to Gene’s Page that the relationship he generated with MSU offensive line coach Marcus Johnson was a big part of his decision.

“Coach Johnson is a real good guy,” Cross said. “He’s a stand-up guy. He cares about his players. He motivates his players. He’s all about his players. He stayed on me even when I was committed to Florida State. The coaches at Mississippi State just stayed on me.”

Cross’ commitment is one of three for players from the Free State.

Young committed to play for defending national champion Alabama, while Walker Thompson, Young’s teammate at West Jones, committed to Ole Miss where he will be a punter and a kicker.

Thompson recently competed in the Bernard Blackwell Mississippi All-Star game in Gulfport. 

The game was played in a deluge and ended in a 0-0 tie.

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