“I love helping us win”: Bison kicker Griffin Crosa is back and playing better than ever 

Crosa is 2nd generation to kick at the collegiate level

Griffin Crosa is not the first member of his family to play sports beyond their high school days. Along with his brother Sam, who was a kicker at the Division 1 level from 2015-2019, Griffin Crosa followed in his father’s footsteps in becoming a college athlete by kicking at North Dakota State. Fernando Crosa, who played soccer for the Syracuse Orange during his college days, is one of Griffin’s biggest role models. 

“My dad or my brother,” Crosa said of his inspirations. “My dad always just kind of demanded the best out of me and my brother and provided us with opportunities and chances to really have some success.” 

Griffin’s older brother Sam was a kicker at the Division 1 level. Starting his college career at Bowling Green for two years, Sam then spent two seasons at a fellow MVFC school, Western Illinois before transferring to Cincinnati for his final season of eligibility. 

While Sam was coming off an incredible season at Western Illinois in 2017, Griffin was preparing for his senior season at Dublin Scioto High School, which is approximately 15 miles from Columbus, Ohio. That season Griffin would go 6-8 on field goals including a long of 46 yards as well as connecting on all 38 extra-point attempts. For his efforts, Griffin was named second-team all-state and first-team all-conference. While Griffin had already committed to North Dakota State, his senior season proved he was worthy of being a Bison. 

Griffin would not wait long to join NDSU following his senior season. Rather than waiting until late spring, Griffin graduated from high school in December of 2018 and enrolled early at NDSU. 

“As far as coming to NDSU, just came to a camp summer going into senior year,” Crosa said of his process in coming to NDSU. “Had a pretty good camp and then right before senior year started, I got an offer from NDSU and committed on the spot.” 

As for why he chose NDSU, Griffin credits that to the culture and brotherhood of Bison football. 

“Winning culture is a huge part of it but the brotherhood of it all,” Crosa stated. “Your best friends, you’re with them all day, every day. I love that about Bison football.” 

In his first season at NDSU, Crosa was thrown into the fire in his very first game. During the 2019 season opener against Butler, the true freshman Crosa would be thrust in to replace an injured Jake Reinholz. 

“It was definitely a surprise to be thrown into that role, but I embraced it,” Crosa disclosed on his experience. “I was able to have a pretty good year and we had a great season that year. I’m glad that I got to have that experience at the early point of my career. I can use that same experience for now.” 

After taking over the starting duties, Crosa would go 11-15 on his field goal attempts with a long of 46 yards along with going 60-61 on extra points. Following the semifinal victory against Montana State, Reinholz would return from injury and put Crosa back on the bench for the national championship. Despite not playing in the 28-20 championship victory over James Madison, the game remains Griffin’s most fond memory at NDSU thus far. 

“There’s been a lot but probably that first national championship,” Crosa shared. “That was a great year. Being able to be on stage after that season was a good one.” 

Following the national championship, Crosa switched from his original number 36 to number 39. When linebacker Nick Kubitz arrived on campus, Griffin allowed him to have the number and switched to 39.  

“I got 36 given to me when I first got here,” Crosa affirmed. “That was the number they assigned me. Nick Kubitz, was 36 in high school, and he wanted it. I also didn’t want to be the same number that Cam Pedersen was when he was here, he was 36. Wanted to have my own number and it worked out for Nick. He wanted the #36 so I gave it to him.” 

While he was only able to play in two games following the championship game before this season, Griffin now gets to rep his childhood number each and every week. 

“39 opened up and actually it was my first number when I started playing football, I was like yeah, I’ll take it,” Crosa explained. “So that’s what I’m rocking with now.” 

Since putting on number 39, Griffin has been knocking through field goals with great efficiency, especially this season. Despite not handling field goal duties the first few weeks, Crosa is now a perfect 5-5 on field goals so far this season. Following a 34-17 win over South Dakota, Griffin was named MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time in his career. Griffin’s two field goals from 25 and 26 yards were vital in helping the Bison in their comeback victory over the Coyotes. 

NDSU kicker Griffin Crosa attempts a field goal vs Drake University earlier this season at the Fargodome. Photo Credit | Zach Lucy – NDSU Athletics

Griffin is now tied with Mark Luedtke for 10th in career field goals made in Bison history with 18. He has a long way to go to catch Adam Keller’s record of 56 but with his high accuracy, Crosa will continue to make his way up the list. Griffin is also unofficially the most accurate kicker in Bison history. While he needs three more field goal attempts to qualify for the highest field goal percentage, Griffin has connected on 81.8% of his field goals at North Dakota State, ahead of Keller who has the official record at 80.0%. 

While Griffin may be a highly accurate kicker at an elite level, the player he idolized growing up was not kicking field goals. As a Boston sports fan, Griffin grew up a huge fan of former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. 

“Not only how good he was and his success, but you hear all the time about his preparation and whatnot,” Crosa stated. “There’s no one better than him when it comes to that.” 

Although Griffin was hurt when Brady left the Patriots for the Buccaneers, he never hopped on the Buccaneers bandwagon. While Griffin still roots for Brady, he’ll always be loyal to his team. 

“Still a Pats fan,” Crosa said. “I was a little hurt when he left but still love Tom. I definitely know some people that transferred.” 

Even though he may not use the TB12 Method, Griffin still likes to keep a simple routine on Bison gamedays before kickoff at the Fargodome. With a normal 2:30 kickoff, Griffin says a typical gameday will usually look a little something like this: 

“I’ll wake up around 8:00, go get breakfast, and come back here to the dome for meetings. Hang out here for a little bit, then we have a pregame meal. I’ll come straight back to the dome after the pregame meal, hang out a little bit, get dressed, do some treatment and then we’re out on the field by 12:30 to start warming up. We’re out there pretty much until game time.” 

“After the game, come back to the locker room. Coach talks to us, then I usually go back to my place, meet with my family, go get dinner.” 

Along with managing his time during football, Griffin is also majoring in finance and minoring in economics at NDSU. Following his college days, Griffin aspires to use his degree in finance to become a financial advisor. 

“As far as my plans after college, my goal is to become a financial advisor,” Crosa explained. “Work for a firm and then maybe eventually open up my own investment firm.” 

As far as where Griffin would like to start his own firm, he’s not too sure yet, but also isn’t too concerned about it. 

“Doesn’t really matter to me,” Crosa remarked. “There’s a lot of opportunity up here. I’ve got some connections back home too that I could utilize but it doesn’t really matter to me.” 

In the meantime, Griffin, who is a redshirt junior, still has some time left with the Bison football team. While the Bison are coming off a loss to South Dakota State, Crosa will continue to do whatever he can to help keep the Bison dynasty going. 

“I love being up here,” Crosa proudly stated. “I love playing for the Bison and I love helping us win as best as I can, most that I can.” 

You can see Griffin and the Bison back in action on Saturday, October 29. Coming off their bye week, the Bison will kick off at 2:30 from the Fargodome against the Illinois State Redbirds. You can find student tickets on GoBison.com/Students.

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