You may not have heard the name Cory Gross, Jr. yet but chances are increasing that’s going to change soon. The talented defensive back from the Rochester area is in the class of 2018, and will be camping at Syracuse this weekend. Don’t be surprised if he winds up with an offer from the Orange sooner than later.

Gross is still growing into becoming a defensive back, as he’s spent much of his young high school career focusing on running back, but he’s got terrific size at about 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds. Considering he’s only about to enter his junior year, there’s time for him to grow even more, and potentially even become an outside linebacker prospect down the road.

Last season as a running back, Gross rushed for more than 1,000 yards for Brockport High, leading his squad to the Section V title. But heading forward, while he’s been a star on the offensive side of the ball already, he’s beginning to focus more on defense moving forward and, at least for now, projects as a defensive back. Syracuse coaches have already taken notice, and will get a closer look this weekend.

Gross is a strong athlete with a good frame, and runs well even though he doesn’t yet boast a blazing time in the 40. Still, in speaking to one Western New York high school coach, he described Gross as being very smart, and very coachable in addition to having good fluidity through the hips for a player his size. He also pointed out that Gross has a strong understanding of zone coverages despite still being fairly new to defense, and never makes the same mistake twice.

Syracuse is still looking to land a couple of New York prospects in the class of 2017, though the prospects are getting fairly limited on that front, but between players like Gross and Jarrett Paul, 2018 could wind up being a very fruitful recruiting class for the Orange when it comes to in-state talent.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including,,,, and, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He's got a wife, and a toddler he's brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff's a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish