ShareThis Page

Former Penn-Trafford football standout 'humbled' by preseason recognition with W&J

Doug Gulasy
| Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 9:03 p.m.
Washington & Jefferson offensive lineman Zack Crossey (center) walks to the line during a game during the 2013 season.
Photo courtesy of Washington & Jefferson athletics
Washington & Jefferson offensive lineman Zack Crossey (center) walks to the line during a game during the 2013 season.

Zack Crossey achieved a lot in his first two seasons with the Washington & Jefferson football team, but the rising junior offensive lineman wants even more.

That's why, with the season still more than two months away, he's closely following the team's offseason workout program in the hopes of getting better for the 2014 campaign.

“I think (this time is) really important,” he said. “You're by yourself because you're not with your team anymore when you go home for the summer. You've got to trust everyone to work out and follow that packet so you guys can be successful. You don't want people not working out and then coming in out of shape. You want to be at the best of your ability.”

Crossey played to his potential in 2013. In his sophomore season at W&J, the 2012 Penn-Trafford graduate earned first-team all-conference honors from the Presidents' Athletic Conference and helped the Presidents win their second consecutive PAC championship.

“He came in (last season) in great shape, ready to roll,” said Washington & Jefferson offensive line coach Todd Young. “He was battling with another older kid, but to be honest with you, the kid never had a chance. Zack just came in and outworked him. He didn't want to take no for an answer. He's that guy that finished the blocks during camp. He would just go to the edge and go to the whistle.”

A center during his time at Penn-Trafford, Crossey switched to left tackle — “the toughest position to play in football,” Young said — at W&J. He overcame the difficulties of the position switch, along with a lingering ankle injury, to start the second half of his freshman season.

Last year, Crossey took on a vocal leadership role on the offensive line as the Presidents won the PAC title before falling, 34-20, to eventual national runner-up Mt. Union in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.

Young said he expected Crossey to be an overall offensive leader in 2014.

“I try to do whatever it takes to make everyone better,” Crossey said. “I really want our team to succeed. In my four years, I want to get four rings. That's my goal, and I feel that's our team goal. We want to go as far as we can in the playoffs, and I'll do whatever it takes to make that happen.”

On the field, Young said Crossey is a “devastating blocker” who plays with an edge and excels in both pass and run blocking. Crossey gained even more recognition last month when The Sporting News placed him on its preseason All-American list.

“He ranks right up there in my 15 years here, and I've had pretty much an All-American every year,” Young said. “He ranks right up there in the top four or five I've ever coached, and he could be the top one by the time he's done. You just notice him because he flies all over the field.”

Although Crossey said he was “humbled” by the preseason All-American recognition, he added it was only adding more motivation for him to get better before Washington & Jefferson's training camp begins in mid-August.

“I'm ready, honestly, to just get back on the field and start hitting some people,” he said. “I can't wait to be with the team. That's always the best, to be with the guys, get working hard in camp. I can't wait for the season.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.