Laurel’s Cross grows into Top 10 NFL pick

Charles Cross, who grew into his role as left tackle at Laurel High School, starred at...
Charles Cross, who grew into his role as left tackle at Laurel High School, starred at Mississippi State University before being the ninth overall selection Thursday night in the 2022 NFL draft.(WLBT TV)
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 5:33 PM CDT
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JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - At one point early in his football career, then-Laurel High School football coach Todd Breland considered sliding offensive line prospect Charles Cross over one spot.

“We almost moved him to tight end,” said Breland, who now runs the football show just down the road from Laurel at South Jones High School. “Almost.

“You could tell he had talent, but the one thing at that time that was not in his skill set was the ability to gain weight. He was too skinny.”

But Breland said the coaches regained their senses after Cross began to put on weight after his junior year and left him at left tackle.

Cross thrived, becoming a five-star recruit out of Laurel and then anchoring the offensive line the past two seasons at Mississippi State University.

Thursday nigh, Cross became the first Golden Tornado taken among the top 10 players in the annual National Football League draft.

Cross was selected ninth overall by the Seattle Seahawks, and stands in line to earn more than $23.5 million over the next four years, according to, a sports financial website.

“That’s kind of generational, right there,” Breland said. “We are awful proud of him.”

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