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MM 3.8: Maryland football’s Chigoziem Okonkwo, Nick Cross excel at NFL scouting combine

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 27 Maryland at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Maryland football had two of its former players, tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo and safety Nick Cross, open some eyes at the NFL scouting combine, specifically in the 40-yard dash.

Okonkwo, the Terps’ leading tight end in 2021, finished the 40-yard dash with a top time of 4.52 seconds. That mark was the fastest out of any tight end that participated. The tight end was listed as 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds during this past season at Maryland.

He finished last season as an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection after collecting 52 receptions and 447 yards along with five receiving touchdowns. Okonkwo’s five scores were tied for first on Maryland, which saw its program reach its first bowl game since 2016.

Cross also showed what he could do in the 40-yard dash this past Sunday. The defensive back out of Bowie, Maryland, matched exactly what Okonkwo did; he found a way to lead his respective position in the 40-yard dash.

Cross clocked in an official time of 4.34, which marked the fasted time out of all the safeties.

Listed at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Cross has plenty of burst to his game and can certainly add plenty of solid hits stemming out of the secondary. Last season, he was first in forced fumbles (two), tied for first on the team in interceptions (three) and second on the team in solo tackles (44). His three sacks were the most out of any defensive back for Maryland in 2021.

With the efforts that both Okonkwo and Cross had at the NFL scouting combine, they likely boosted their stock moving forward.

In other news

Dylan Spilko shared his three takeaways from Maryland men’s basketball’s loss to Michigan State.

Jack Parry wrote his preview for No. 24 Maryland baseball’s two-game series against VCU.

Maryland wrestling shared some of the program’s recent accomplishments.

Maryland men’s lacrosse remained at the No. 1 spot in this week’s rankings.

No. 4 Maryland women’s lacrosse shared a few highlights from its most recent win.

Maryland women's basketball had the sixth-toughest schedule in the nation this season.

Maryland men's basketball wished former star Jake Layman a happy birthday over Twitter.