92. Maxx Crosby helps make EMU defense shine

There are 92 days until MACtion returns. Until then, we count the days

Eastern Michigan’s biggest strength heading into the season is, still, its defense. When Athlon Sports dropped its preseason All-MAC Team last week, three Eagles received First Team Defense honors: Maxx Crosby, Jeremiah Harris and Brody Hoying.

Crosby, who was named one of four team captains for the upcoming season as a redshirt-junior, dominated last year. At 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, the defensive end out of Colleyville, Texas (Heritage) put up numbers better than what former teammate/defensive end Pat O’Connor had as a senior, which got him drafted by the Detroit Lions.

Tackles (solo) For Loss Yards Sacks Yards Forced fumbles
Passes defended
Maxx Crosby (2017) 57 (31) 16.5 105 11 91 4 1
Pat O’Connor (2016) 42 (17) 14.5 64 8.5 51 5 2

What makes Crosby so good is his mix of athleticism and size. There are plenty of highlights that Crosby’s displayed as an underclassman, but maybe his most impressive moment came in a road game against Central Michigan. On the very first play of the game, Crosby disrupted a swing pass by jumping over Derek Edwards, the right tackle who tripped backwards and downwards, and getting in Cooper Rush’s face. Crosby was able to get Rush from behind, threw him down and the ball came out. Harris, the other defensive end, punched the ball into Harris’ hands and he raced into the end zone.

Crosby kept things going with three total sacks in this game and the game after that. The way Crosby plays his game, he’s always trying to be creative just to make a play. If he keeps up his style of play, it wouldn’t be surprising to anybody if Crosby ends up being highly regarded by NFL scouts and be taken in the draft. (He could leave early for the 2019 draft if he chooses to.)

EMU’s in a good place with Crosby and Co. The Eagles were second in the MAC with 363.6 total yards per game allowed, second in points per game allowed at 23.3, third in sacks (43), third in forced fumbles (14) fourth in yards per play (5.34) and fourth in total tackles for loss yards (301).

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