Army leads for Crossdale

Malik Crossdale

A recent Army offer has the attention of Malik Crossdale, a 5-foot-11, 196-pound running back from Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, N.Y. After receiving the offer, Crossdale made an unofficial visit to West Point soon afterward. He spoke with ArmySports.com on his why he's so intrigued with the Black Knights program.

A recent Army offer has the attention of Malik Crossdale, a 5-foot-11, 196-pound running back from Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, N.Y. After receiving the offer, Crossdale made an unofficial visit to West Point soon afterward. He spoke with ArmySports.com on his why he's so intrigued with the Black Knights program.

"Two weeks ago I received my offer from Army," said Crossdale. "It was surprising because I emailed a lot of schools but not Army. I thought about emailing them, but didn't think there would be any way they would want me especially with the military side of it. I got an email from Coach Thompson, then called and talked with him more. He had done some research on me. He said he loved my balance, loved how hard I ran, and that I had legitimate speed.

"West Point is a great academic school. With a degree from West Point, you'll be in great shape to land any job after college. The football program has a great tradition. In recent years it's fallen off a bit, but the new coaches want to rebuild the program and get back to winning. At first I wasn't too excited about the military, but now I think it would be a god idea to serve my country. The more I think about it, the better it sounds. When you graduate, you're a second lieutenant. It's an honorable path to take."

Crossdale, who has also been offered by Buffalo, made the short trip from his New York City borough to West Point after the conversation with Luke Thompson.

"I'd have to say Army is leading after my unofficial visit," proclaimed Crossdale. "I enjoyed everything. They treated me so well and showed me how much they wanted me there. I got to try on a jersey. That was something I wanted to do. I talked with all of the coaches and got to know them better. I spent some time with Coach Moses, the running backs coach. He seemed like a real cool guy. They showed me the facilities and the dorms. Then I got to eat lunch with the players. I had a good conversation with Stephen Fraser about things he likes and dislikes about life at the Academy."

In only his second year playing football, Crossdale gained 800 rushing yards and scored 10 touchdowns on the 2012 season. He was named second team All-New York City, Tri-State All-Area, and All-Conference as a junior.

"I was always a track guy," Crossdale explained. "I won six national championships in the 400 meter dash before I even got to high school. This season I improved most on my vision and seeing the holes better.

"I have a big Nike Combine in New Jersey this weekend. Some coaches at Cal and Michigan State want to see how I do there in the 40. I think they'd happily offer me if I record a good time. I'm also hearing from Vanderbilt, but they have a running back who committed so I need to talk to Coach Donovan.

"I think I'm going to wait until late October to make my decision because I'd like to take my official visits and see how the offers play out. Academics are my top priority. Even if I make the NFL, I still want to be working at 45 and not just living off the money I earned. I don't want to go to a school like Alabama where it's cut-throat with wanting to win. I want to win too but I want to find more of a balance in winning championships and playing for coaches who keep their promises to the players they recruit."

Crossdale said he plans on playing some defensive back at Fordham next season and Army is interested in taking a look at his skill in the secondary. The track champion holds a personal best of 49.8 in the 400 meter dash. He wears No. 15 for the Fordham Rams.

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Fordham Prep (Bronx) running back Malik Crossdale made his verbal commitment to Army.

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