Flowery Branch High graduate Izaan Cross has been on the go since taking over the Georgia Knights Preparatory Academy football program.
This is a relatively new phenomenon, players who are seeking college scholarships and are finished with high school, but still either need more exposure or have work remaining to qualify academically.
Cross, who starred at defensive end for the Falcons, said he’s up to the challenge.
For the former Georgia Tech lineman, this is his first time in charge.
“It feels good,” said Cross, who previously worked at Lakeview Academy. “This is a new opportunity. I embrace it. It helps me transfer my full-field knowledge.”
Cross, 30, has also made it to the highest level, having been on the 2013 training camp roster as an undrafted free agent with the Buffalo Bills.
At Lakeview Academy, Cross learned from his own high school coach, Lee Shaw, and served as its strength and conditioning coach.
With some experience under his belt, Cross said he’s eager to make the leap to being a head coach.
“Once they came to me with the heading coaching job, I had to jump at it,” Cross said. “They have had some success. I had to do some fundamental clean up. Accountability was needed.”
Holding players accountable is a core principle to Cross’ philosophy.
“Utilizing the game is an opportunity to enhance your life,” Cross tells recruits.
The opportunity to join the Knights’ program and Cross’ vision for the program have players coming in to play from Canada, New York, Texas and Hawaii, among other states.
Cross is keeping tabs on players’ conditioning, while also making sure they have all the things necessary when they arrive at the start of camp in late July.
Players will also be enrolled in Georgia Gwinnett College, but every players’ situation is different.
Some will take college courses or credit-recovery programs.
“These small details are the differences between wins and losses,” Cross said.