Grayson Crozier had been nagging his twin brother, Coleman, to play football with him in college.
When both got the chance to do so and serve their country, they didn’t hesitate.
The two senior outside linebackers, who finished continuing a family tradition of football success at St. Thomas Aquinas this season, are hoping to carry on another special family legacy of service at the United States Naval Academy.
“I always wanted to go there and I was bugging him for a long time to come with me,” said Grayson Crozier. “I’m super excited about the opportunity to serve for four years.”
The Croziers had two grandfathers who served in the Korean War.
Bill Crozier served as an aircraft engineer in the Air Force.
Jim Metzger served in the Army.
The Crozier twins jumped at the chance to honor their family legacy.
“For a long time I wanted to serve in the military,” Grayson Crozier said. “I just didn’t know which branch. Once I got the opportunity from the Naval Academy, I just decided to hop on.”
Grayson and Coleman spent the past four years each adding their bit to their family’s history at St. Thomas.
The duo was part of three state championships and a run to the state semifinals this season — a year in which they combined for 63 tackles and five sacks.
“It’s wonderful,” said their mother, Maryann. “These two are so great whether they’re separate or together. They’re natural-born leaders and have always been.”
The Croziers’ eldest sibling, Gordon, was a center at Aquinas who went on to play at Samford University.
The next brother in line, Ryan, was an All-Broward guard and a state champion in track and field in the discus event and was named the Miami Herald’s Large School Athlete of the Year.
Ryan went on to play at the University of Connecticut.
And their youngest brother, Jack, will be a freshman this fall at Aquinas.
Coleman and Grayson will be joining a Navy squad that went 7-6 this past season and scored a 49-7 win over Virginia in the Military Bowl in late December.
“It’s awesome,” said the Crozier’s father, Gordon. “It’s an Ivy League education and big-league football so it’s an exciting opportunity for them.”
The twins stood proud on National Signing Day on Feb. 7 donning their Navy caps at the school’s ceremony and posing for pictures with their grandmother, Betty Metzger.
“It’s awesome, I’m just excited to get up there and start the grind with the boys,” Coleman Crozier said. “I’m just very appreciative of all the mentors I’ve had over the years.”