12 - AJ Cruz
|Hometown:||Lake Forest, CA|
|High School:||Santa Margarita Catholic|
Three-time All-Ivy selection…Pre-season second team All-American by Phil Steel’s…Came into the 2012 season with 713 career kick-off return yards and eight career interceptions... Junior: Named First Team All-Ivy, All-New England, and ECAC All-Star Second Team…Led the Ivy League in kickoff returns with 405 yards, an average of 31.15 yards per return, fourth best in the country… Against Dartmouth, had two kickoff returns for a total of 102 yards, including an 83 yard return for a touchdown… Also had five kickoff returns against Harvard for 91 yards… Second on the team with 7 punt returns for 36 yards… Second on the team with three interceptions for a total of 42 yards, third best in the Ivy League and 55th best nationally… Finished the season fourth on the team for All-Purpose Running with 48.3 yards per game… As a strong defensive leader, Cruz finished with a total of 60 tackles; 35 solo 25 assists, with one tackle for loss… Sophomore: Overcame early season injuries to come back strong at the end and earn First Team All-Ivy Honors… Tied for the team lead with two interceptions, and ranked second in punt and kickoff returns… Made 13 kickoff returns for 295 yards with a long of 45 yards against Princeton… Made 33 tackles, eight pass breakups, and one tackle for a three-yard loss … Registered eight tackles against Yale…Had six tackles against both Penn and Cornell…Tied for fifth in the Ivy League in passes defended and fifth in conference in league interceptions… Freshman: Earned Second Team All-Ivy Honors, the only freshman in the league to be named All-Ivy on the defensive side… Earned Ivy Weekly Honors in 6 of the Bears’ 10 games, being named to the Honor Roll for his performances against URI, Holy Cross, Princeton, and Penn… Named Ivy League Rookie of the Week after his game against Cornell after a 26-yard interception return… Named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week after his performance against Yale after making a game saving interception in the end zone… Ranked third in the league in passes defended, 6th in interceptions, and 15th in total tackles… Ranked third on the team in total tackles, with 57, including 36 solo stops… Had a career-best 10 total tackles in the win against Holy Cross… Intercepted three passes on the season, second on the team, with a total of 68 return yards… Had 9 tackles, with seven solo hits in the win against URI… Added 9 tackles, 7 solo hits, and one interception in the win at Yale… Also recorded 7 tackles against both Cornell and Penn, adding an interception in both games as well… Had a season-best 42-yard interception return for a touchdown against Penn… Had 2 tackles-for-a-loss of 4 yards on the season… Also broke-up a total of 9 passes, a season-best 3 in the win at Yale… Returned a kick-off for 13 yards against Yale… Secondary School Background: A graduate of Santa Margarita Catholic where he lettered in football and basketball… Three-year starter in football… Named two-time All-Trinity League… Selected to the South team in the Orange County North-South All-Star game… Holds three Santa Margarita Catholic school records for longest kickoff return for a touchdown (97 yards), highest kickoff-return average (34 yards), and highest vertical (37 inches)… Also helped lead his team to a state championship in basketball… Named to the California Scholarship Federation (CSF)… Personal: Alexander J. Cruz… The son of Joe and Theresa Cruz... Has three older siblings: Bryan, Breanna, and Renee… Enjoys the beach, music, movies, and video games... BEO-Organizational Studies Concentrator.