Professional football fans lucky enough to score tickets to Super Bowl LIII are set to pack Atlanta’s ultra-modern Mercedes-Benz Stadium Sunday. At stake is the annual NFL championship in the highly anticipated game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. What’s more, they will get to personally bear witness to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots chasing a record-breaking sixth Super Bowl win on Sunday.
Tom Brady, 41, will be recognized as the oldest quarterback to snag the title if Super Bowl LIII sees the Patriots take the championship. It’s a foregone conclusion that many eyes will be on Tom Brady and the Patriots during the game; however, National Football League history is being rewritten for a variety of age-related factors in other ways. For instance, one big factor being focused on in this epic clash is youth, and the youngest players on both teams are 22-years-old.
A younger generation of players seems to be one of the main themes this year as the two teams clash for the win in Atlanta. Leading the Rams for Super Bowl LIII is 24-year-old quarterback Jared Goff. Additionally, Sean McVay will become the youngest head coach to lift the trophy if the youthful Los Angeles Rams win.
But what about the youngest player in Super Bowl LIII? Who would that be? Of the roster of active, reserve/injured and practice players for both teams, that would be 22-year-old Patriots football cornerback Keion Crossen, from Garysburg, North Carolina, wearing #35.
Crossen attended high school in Northampton County in Gaston, North Carolina. After he graduated, he attended college at Western Carolina University (WCU) in Cullowhee, North Carolina. Crossen was involved in two sports during his time in college, lending his athletic talents to the football and track and field teams. However, it was his performance on the football field that stood out the most.
The young player was a defensive secondary for the Catamounts during his college career, according to the Official Home of Catamount Athletics, CataMount Sports. Crossen amassed 165 career tackles in 46 games during his his four-year tenure at West Carolina. During that time, he also got five tackles and 106 solo stops for loss under his belt. He finished his college football career with three career interceptions and a sum of 19 pass break-ups. Additionally, seven of the pass breakups occurred during his junior and senior seasons.
His professional career began when the New England Patriots chose him in the seventh round as a 243rd overall pick in the 2018 National Football League Draft. Weighing in at 185 lbs and standing at 5’10,” the two-year starter and defensive back is slightly built. Keion Crossen is also experienced at playing in the slot and on the boundary, while additionally seeing a great deal of action in the kicking portion of the game.
Crossen made his professional debut in Week 3. During that game, there was a 26-10 loss, and he scored one tackle. So far he’s been an active player in 11 regular season games and has had 14 tackles as the Patriots go into Sunday. Crossen is another elite RAS holder for the his team and has exhibited speed and explosion for the latest games. Also, nine of the 14 tackles came from the Patriots’ last two games.
New England Cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer was impressed with Crossen after he met him shortly after he ran a 4.32 40-yard dash at Wake Forest’s pro day workout.
Josh Boyer said of Keion Crossen,
He’s got a charismatic personality, probably a little bit different than mine,” Boyer said. “He was very eager. He wanted to learn. He loves football. All of those things kind of jumped out at you. He’s got a good personality. He’s a good kid. He’s got a good heart and he works hard. He was very serious about his craft and football. He came to us like a sponge.
Sunday’s game will be the first time that the former Catamount will experience playing in the Super Bowl, and he told fans, per WCU Magazine, that he will have no idea what it will be like when he sets foot on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium field for the first time. Keion Crossen told WCU that “he does know he plans to enjoy every minute.”
NC native and Patriots DB Keion Crossen gears up for Super Bowl LIII https://t.co/SapzqERIEi
— Chris Dooley (@chris28dooley) February 1, 2019
One fan of Crossen’s took to Instagram to show his support for the Super Bowl LIII’s youngest player. He posted a picture of Crossen and wrote, “I will be wearing my #35 Keion Crossen jersey today.”