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Penn State football gains commitment from four-star tight end Jerry Cross for 2022

JON SAUBER
Centre Daily Times (TNS)
Jerry Cross

Jerry Cross hasn’t had the chance to visit Penn State’s campus because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but the four-star tight end didn’t need to.

He committed to the Penn State football program Tuesday night because, he said, the Nittany Lion coaches have already made him feel like he’s part of the family.

“Penn State is a family-based program,” Cross told the Centre Daily Times. “It really felt like home for me. It felt like a perfect fit.”

Cross, who plays high school football for Rufus King High School in Milwaukee, announced the decision on his personal Twitter page after considering several other schools, including his home state program, Wisconsin.

He’s the Nittany Lions’ second pledge in the 2022 recruiting class after four-star wide receiver Kaden Saunders announced his decision Saturday.

Cross hasn’t spoken to Saunders yet but is excited to build a relationship with him and a certain quarterback commit in the 2021 class.

“I haven’t been able to talk to him yet, but I’m looking forward to talking to him,” Cross said. “Also, I’m looking forward to talking to Christian (Veilleux). I’m looking forward to talking with them and building a relationship with them.”

The four-star tight end is listed at 6-foot-6 and weighs 218 pounds according to his 247Sports player profile. His size will make him a formidable addition to the position group in a few years. He chose the program — in part — because of its ability to develop players at the position.

“The way Penn State runs its offense, the tight end is almost the most important player on the field,” Cross said. “They said when I get on campus, they want me to make an immediate impact. They’re going to push me to be the best.”

The pandemic prevented Cross from getting to campus, but it didn’t prevent him from seeing it. He had a virtual tour with the Nittany Lions that — along with video calls with coaches — helped seal the deal.

“We had Zoom calls that were over an hour or two hours,” Cross said. “We got a lot of things solved, a lot of questions answered, and we built relationships with the whole staff. Getting my questions answered and doing the virtual tour really helped with my decision.”

The academic side of attending Penn State had an impact on Cross’ choice, as well. He wants to study business in college, and the opportunity to potentially enroll in Penn State’s Smeal College of Business was too good to pass up.

“With the business school, it’s a perfect fit,” he said.

He won’t get to campus for another two years, but Cross has the ability to make an impact when he gets there. He’s the No. 6 tight end and No. 190 player in the 2022 class, according to the 247Sports Composite player rankings.

His commitment bumps the Nittany Lions up from fourth to second in the Big Ten and from No. 12 to No. 6 in the country in the 247Sports Composite team rankings in the 2022 recruiting class.