July 30, 2012
THE FLATS — Georgia Tech senior Izaan Cross was named Monday to the preseason watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award. which goes annually to the nation’s top defensive end.
Cross, a Flowery Branch (Ga.) native and Flower Branch High School graduate, will start at defensive end for the third straight year. The only returning starter on the defensive line, Cross owns more career starts (28) than any player on the Yellow Jacket roster.
As a true freshman in 2009, Cross, played in 13 games in the 4-3 scheme Tech employed that season. Over the last two seasons, Cross has adjusted to the 3-4 under defensive coordinator Al Groh. He enters this season with 83 career tackles, 10 tackles for loss and over the last two seasons he has batted down eight passes.
Cross is the fifth different Yellow Jacket named to a national award preseason watch list. Earlier, Jeremiah Attaochu (Lombardi), Jay Finch (Rimington), Orwin Smith (Doak Walker) and Omoregie Uzzi (Outland) were named to preseason watch lists.
Cross is one of 40 players and one of seven players from the ACC on the Hendricks preseason watch list.
Previous recipients of the Hendricks Award include: 2002 – Terrell Suggs (Arizona State), 2003-04 – David Pollack (Georgia), 2005 – Elvis Dumervil (Louisville), 2006 – LaMarr Woodley (Michigan), 2007 – Chris Long (Virginia), 2008 – Brian Orakpo (Texas), 2009 – Jerry Hughes (TCU), 2010 – Da’Quan Bowers (Clemson) and 2011 – Whitney Mercilus (Illinois).
Now in its 11th season, the Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of college football’s first three-time first-team All-American. Hendricks’ professional career spanned 15 years and 215 consecutive games, and included four Super Bowl victories, eight Pro Bowl selections and inductions into the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.