On Wednesday, December 20, Nature Coast Tech Running Back Christian Cromer signed his Letter of Intent (LOI) to attend the Naval Academy. Family, friends, coaches, and other members of the community gathered in the Sharks’ gymnasium to watch the 6’0” 245-pound senior officially put pen to paper to play for the Navy Midshipmen. Cromer’s scholarship with the academy is worth $500,000 and he will be receiving a top-flight education. To open the festivities, Principal Toni Ann Noyes and Head Football Coach Robert Kazmier spoke about the talented athlete.
“An education from a naval academy is second to none,” Coach Kazmier said. “He is going to be able to do whatever he wants to do when he gets out college… I’m excited to follow his career… He is going to do the same thing there in the weight room. He doesn’t settle at all. He is always working.”
Afterwards, Cromer joined the thousands of other high schoolers around the country in formalizing his commitment to his college. Wednesday was the first day of the early signing period, also known as Early Signing Day (ESD), which is a roughly 72-hour period that ends on Friday night at 11:59 PM. Recruits can send their LOI to their school of choice any time within that window, but the Sharks’ running back signed his forms at noon on the first day.
“I always knew that something great was going to come from him,” his mother, Laura Millan, said. “He’s proven that throughout his journey. He’s earned every single thing that he’s gotten… I’m so proud to be his mom… He’s just an amazing person all around.”
Cromer had a stellar senior season as he compiled 1464 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns, which was good for fourth in the entire state of Florida. He also placed first in total points and touchdowns in Florida Division 2S and 2S District 11 as well as first in rushing yards in 2S District 11. Over his career, he totaled 4566 yards and 76 touchdowns while averaging 108.7 yards per game. The Naval Academy signee is looking forward to the opportunity and thanked everyone for helping him get to where he is today.
“I’m very excited,” Cromer said. “It is a blessing. It takes a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of people to support you. It is not easy. I just want to [say] ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped me out. I’m happy. I’m excited.”
The class of 2024 running back was recruited by both Army and Navy and will operate as a fullback in the run-oriented offense of the Midshipmen. In his final year he was also named the Gulf Coast 8 Athletic Conference’s co-offensive player of the Year and the Glory Days Player of the Year among other accolades. The decorated athlete remains humble and knows that he has to work every day to reach his goals. You can either move forward or backward, and Cromer chose every day to get better.
“Everything is daily,” Cromer said. “Everything I did, I did it every day and I repeat it. I only got better. It is the only thing you can do. So, 100 percent a daily process.”