Georgia Tech: Izaan Cross Q&A

Georgia Tech defensive end Izaan Cross is going into his third year as a starter at defensive end and was named to the Ted Hendricks Award watch list, given to the nation’s top defensive end. The senior from Flowery Branch High, who will be counted on to provide pass-rush pressure and leadership, spoke with the AJC about his unusual name, his favorite bowl gift and a trusted pre-game ritual. Questions and answers were edited for clarity and brevity.

Q: What’s a crazy story from your recruitment?

A: End of my junior year, we’re sitting in class. That’s when everybody had a cell phone. So our teachers were really cracking down on us having cell phones in class and not being able to use it. Right as she was giving us this huge lecture, my phone started ringing while she was talking about it and it was Urban Meyer calling. So I was like, I have to take this call. I’m sorry, you can take my phone after. I just left class and answered the phone call.

Q: Where did your parents get the name Izaan (pronounced eye-zhahn)?
A: My oldest brother’s name is Isaiah, I’m Izaan, the younger one under me is Imani, the youngest one is Ithello. All I’s. My name means “prayer warrior” and they just had the talk one day to think of what my name was, came up with Izaan. I think maybe my dad had a friend named Izaan when he was younger, something like that. But I like it. I haven’t anybody yet that has the same name.

Q: What percentage of people, when you meet for the first time, pronounce it correctly?

A: Absolutely zero. I haven’t had anybody who has known nothing about me, that never knew of me at all, that has pronounced my name correctly.

Q: What was your best bowl gift?

A: I’ve got to go with the Nintendo Wii. That was the best one.

Q: Which bowl was it?

A: Maybe the Orange Bowl. I was using it for a while. I had used it for a good three, four months strong before I got tired of it, then I gave it to my mom. I really enjoyed that.

Q: Complete this sentence – “Georgia Tech’s defense will be better because”

A: We’re more experienced, we’re more tuned in than we’ve ever been and we’re ready to prove doubters wrong.

Q: What’s one thing you do before every game?
A: I listen to “For Every Mountain” by the Kurt Carr Singers in my locker.

Q: What does that do for you?
A: It’s a gospel song. I just sit, relax, not worried about anything that’s going on around me, to get in the zone.

Q: What’s your most vivid memory of the 2010 Virginia Tech game?
A: How freezing cold it was. But that was a really good game. I think I had a big [tackle for loss] in that game or something like that. (Virginia Tech quarterback) Tyrod Taylor was very hard to handle, running around all over the place.

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

24 comments Add your comment


August 30th, 2012
11:10 pm

First! and GO JACKETS!!


August 30th, 2012
11:24 pm

Thanks for the nice article on Izaan Ken. Good read! Will look forhim Monday night against Hokies.
Go Jackets!


August 30th, 2012
11:33 pm

My most vivid memory from 2010. We are pounding VT and Nesbitt throws the pick at the goal line at the end of the half, and then breaks his arm on the tackle. Season over.

Good luck on Monday Izaan: pressure, pressure and more pressure on Thomas is what will win this game.


August 30th, 2012
11:35 pm

Just don’t see anything what so ever to tell me this defense has improved any over the last year….

This game alone Tech has a ton of startes out

F. Holton
D Druman
Julian Burnet
Luise Young.

Thats four starters from last year…. and they are better as a unit??

Yal Tech Folk going to be sorly disapointed..


August 30th, 2012
11:46 pm

UGA, they should be better by mid-season. But you may be right about Monday. Fortunately, VT is replacing everyone on offense but the QB. That may help if the O can eat clock and not put the defense in bad field position situations with TO’s. We shall see. Is Jim Kelly still QB for Buffalo?

yeller bug

August 31st, 2012
12:20 am

ToeML: That had to be one of the worst plays in GT history. A potential 7 but a certain 3 points and continued dominance of our opponent turns into a TO and losing your warrior QB for the season.


August 31st, 2012
3:00 am

Seventh…and basking in the glory!

Thanks for burning the midnight oil for us, Ken.

GT Football

August 31st, 2012
8:10 am


Holton will play
Drummond is suspended…..his backup (Jabari Hunt-Days is REALLY, REALLY good)
Burnett is out for the season
Young is not even a starter

You’ve got bad info if you think these will affect us……


August 31st, 2012
8:21 am

You think tyrod was hard, wait til u try and bring down logan. We saw how hard that is with JA.


August 31st, 2012
8:24 am

Young is too a starter. You don’t have a clue gtfootball

Tech Man

August 31st, 2012
8:58 am

Can’t wait until Monday night! Go Jackets!

Tech Man

August 31st, 2012
9:04 am

UGA: Thank you for that grammatically correct and insightful post. Now please run along. Don’t you have some recruits to call?


August 31st, 2012
9:12 am

Q: What’s your most vivid memory of the 2010 Virginia Tech game?
A: How freezing cold it was. But that was a really good game. I think I had a big [tackle for loss] in that game or something like that. (Virginia Tech quarterback) Tyrod Taylor was very hard to handle, running around all over the place.

LOL. James Madison didn’t seem to have too much of a problem with Tyrod Taylor.

Gotta love ACC football. Its always good for a laugh.

Technically Correct

August 31st, 2012
9:34 am

Just listened to “For Evey Mountain.” Beautiful. Puts things in perspective. As Izaan is about to do battle, I can understand how that will help him block out distractions and focus on the upcoming task.


August 31st, 2012
10:30 am

UGA was right about something, though. He said that Tech folks will be disapointed (sic). I couldn’t agree more. All those Virginia Tech folks in Balcksburg will be disappointed come Monday night.

GT Football

August 31st, 2012
10:41 am

dawgfan, if you wanted a good laugh, I hope you watched the SEC football game last night. Talk about a snoozefest! USCe should be ranked about #20 or so…..and Vandy is just Vandy. It was a real disappointment to have to watch those 2 football programs play each other. If UGAg doesn’t take the East title, it will show how weak the East really is.


August 31st, 2012
11:00 am

“Young is too a starter. You don’t have a clue gtfootball.”

The 8/21 depth chart lists Thomas or Young as the starter at that corner spot.

A new depth chart will be released later today.


August 31st, 2012
11:19 am

I see no reason to trash UGA for his post. The defensive players that will be missing for VT do present a concern. He presented his opinion without trash talking. It’s a huge opening game. I’ll admit to being nervous. I wish we opened with “The Little Sisters of the Poor”, I mean Buffalo.

Mike Bell 790

August 31st, 2012
11:41 am

Old Coach

August 31st, 2012
11:55 am

…and predict that “Tech” will win!


August 31st, 2012
12:00 pm

Did the SEC play last night? On Thursday? Really? I was under the impression only weak conferences play on Thursday.

Tech Man

August 31st, 2012
12:06 pm


I look at UGA’s comments from this perspective: He states that he does not see how our defense is improved at all from last years team, provides evidence of projected starters that are not playing in the VT game for different reasons, and inaccurately states that they were all starters from last year’s team.

The only long term starter that we will be missing is Burnett. The rest will be back the following week. It is similar to me saying that the UGA defense is going to suck because they are missing a bunch of starters due to suspension. In reality, their defense is going to be one of the best in the nation when it is full strength.

UGA clearly has no idea how our defense is going to perform which is shown by his lack of knowledge on who was a starter last year and how to correctly spell the player’s name.

A person SMART enough to know...

August 31st, 2012
4:25 pm

I am a small person troubled about my sexual identity and I conduct myself poorly in both this forum and at my part-time retail job at the Mall. I enjoy to ride the MARTA though?

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