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Eastern Michigan all-conference defensive lineman Maxx Crosby is the latest state player to declare early for the NFL Draft.

Crosby announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he would skip his senior season.

"This school and this program took a chance on me when not many others would and gave me an opportunity to live out a dream of playing college football," Crosby wrote. "I'm eternally grateful for everything that EMU has done for me."

Crosby, a 6-foot-5, 247-pounder from Colleyville, Texas, was first-team All-Mid-American Conference this season and last, joining former NFL Draft picks Ron Johnson and Lional Dalton as the only Eastern defensive players to earn consecutive first-team accolades.

Crosby also was Eastern's team MVP for a second consecutive season.

He led Eastern to a 7-5 regular season and a spot in the Camellia Bowl last Saturday in Montgomery, Alabama, where it lost to Georgia Southern, 23-21, on a last-second field goal.

Crosby becomes the sixth player from a state of Michigan university to declare early, joining Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary, Michigan State running back LJ Scott and defensive back Justin Layne, and Central Michigan cornerbacks Sean Bunting and Xavier Crawford.

Ohio State running back Mike Weber, a former Detroit Cass Tech standout, also recently declared for the NFL Draft.

The deadline to declare is Jan. 14, and the draft begins April 25.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984

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