ALBANY, N.Y. – Albany native Elliot Croskey was one of the top high school running backs in the Capital Region last year, and this fall he will be competing at the collegiate level.
Nine months ago, Croskey helped lead Christian Brothers Academy to a Class AA Super Bowl Championship on Bob Ford Field as a high school senior. Now, he’s back on the same field as a college freshman on the University at Albany football team.
“Expectations are definitely higher and the physicalness of practice is definitely higher, but I’m coming a long way,” he said.
Croskey is third on the running back depth chart a week and a half into practice, but he is already drawing comparisons to the Great Danes main back Omar Osbourne.
“They are similar size, in stature,” head coach Greg Gattuso said. “I think Omar is a little more of a power runner right now. The big thing for Elliot to adjust to is really the physicality of the bigger players hitting them with more speed and more impact.”
One adjustment Croskey won’t have to make is to his legs. He’s already one of the fastest backs on the team.
“He can run,” Gattuso said. “We had great times on him this summer. We think he’s a kid who can get out and outrun some people, and that’s why we want to see if he can be part of this offense this year.”
In order to judge that, Gattuso has given Croskey reps with the first team during practice which has been a learning lesson for the young back.
“The guys were good out there,” Croskey said. “I have to adapt coming right out of high school, but it was good. I liked it. Kept me on my toes.”