Former Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College wide receiver Gary Cross is finally an Arkansas Razorback. Originally from Fordyce, Ark., Cross is listed as a junior on the roster and is eligible immediately.
Those who follow Razorback recruiting or high school football in the Natural State may remember Cross from his days at Fordyce High School. The 2014 graduate had 27 catches for 604 yards and 9 touchdowns as a senior. He also had 52 tackles and 3 interceptions at defensive back.
What’s most impressive is that came in his only season of high school football. It caught the attention of tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr., Arkansas’ primary in-state recruit, and the Hogs pursued Cross late in the 2014 cycle. Though the Razorbacks wanted him, a knee injury prior to graduating high school forced him to have surgery. So, the coaching staff “placed” him at Hutchinson, according to coach Bret Bielema.
Cross redshirted his first season at Hutchinson. He earned regular playing time the following two seasons in which he had a combined 56 receptions for 1,112 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Bielema said Monday the Razorbacks remained interested in Cross throughout his time at Hutchinson. They have brought him into the fold with the idea he’ll be placed on scholarship at some point. But for the time being, Arkansas essentially has a free addition in the 2017 class from a productive junior college prospect.
“I love the kid’s makeup,” wide receivers coach Michael Smith said Monday. “I think he’s a tough, extremely athletic wide receiver that’s going to help us. He’s going to add some of that depth that we’ve talked about.
“Barry did a great job with him, just keeping in touch with him and making sure that he was taking care of his stuff from an academic standout. The kid busted his tail, got it done and decided to come out.”