Commentary

The Playmaker

Updated: January 23, 2009, 11:06 AM ET
By Mike Loveday | ESPNRISE.com

Oxon Hill was one win away from making the Class 4A region playoffs last year and with the return of several talented juniors, including Malik Cross, should be in the hunt again next season.

Malik Cross

Owens

Position: Athlete
Team: Oxon Hill Clippers


2008 Season Stats
Rec Yds TD Ret. Yds TD
39 499 5 11 372 2

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Cross played receiver, defensive back, quarterback and returned kicks for the Clippers last season -- racking up more than 1,300 all-purpose yards.

"He's legit. He's probably one of the best all-around players," Eleanor Roosevelt head coach Tom Green said. "He's agile and he's quick. He breaks a lot of tackles. He'll be a lot to deal with next year. He has great body control. Offensively, he may be the top kid in the county."

As a junior, Cross had 39 catches for 499 yards and five touchdowns -- averaging more than 12 yards per reception. His most dangerous position may have been at punt return, where he averaged more than 33 yards per return (11 returns for 372 yards).

Cross figures to be a third-year starter on the Clippers' varsity team next season, and Green believes he will receive around 20 to 30 Division I offers.

"He made the big plays for them. He kept them in games with the plays he made. You know he's getting the ball and he still got first downs," Green said.

The junior also showed his ability to pass the ball -- completing 15 of 31 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns.

If Cross chooses to attend the Nike Baltimore combine on March 28, he could make the type of noise that teammate Brandon Felder did at the 2008 stop.

Felder burst onto the recruiting scene after he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, a 4.15 shuttle, demonstrated a 35-inch vertical jump and posted a SPARQ rating* of 114.93.

*SPARQ rating is a mathematical calculation that tabulates an athlete's 40, shuttle, kneeling power ball and vertical jump to give him a rating. SPARQ stands for Speed Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness.

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Mike Loveday covers high school sports for ESPNRISE.com. Mike can be reached at Michael.Loveday@espn.com