Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Colleyville Heritage's Myles Crosby gives up lucrative modeling career to play football at SMU
COLLEYVILLE — Myles Crosby received some awkward looks from employees at a Calvin Klein outlet just outside of Detroit last year. As he made his way through the store, it was easy to figure out why.
Crosby’s image was splashed across the store’s back wall. There he was, sprawled out on some oceanside rocks in the Caribbean, posing shirtless with a beautiful, half-naked woman.
The store employees stopped staring awkwardly. Instead, they asked for his autograph.
Crosby, a 6-3, 205-pound Colleyville Heritage senior replete with high cheekbones, a chiseled jawline and a head of neatly slicked light brown hair, burst onto the modeling scene last year.
At 17, he became one of the youngest stars in the industry and posed in Calvin Klein ads for jeans, underwear and the Euphoria fragrance. He has graced the pages of Esquire, GQ and Vanity Fair, to name a few.
But a lucrative and glamorous modeling lifestyle isn’t Crosby’s dream.
He’s putting modeling — and the money and fame that’s come with it — on hold to focus on college football. Crosby, 18, will sign a national letter of intent Wednesday to play football for SMU.
“I’m told I’m so stupid by every single person,” Crosby said. “That every single person in my shoes should drop out of school now and go make the money.”
But football has always come first for Crosby, who even skipped a fashion show in Milan last year so as not to miss a game.
While he’s enjoyed the experiences and opportunities modeling has afforded him, it isn’t his passion.
It wasn’t even his idea.
Gerald Frankowski first came across a photo of Crosby in August 2010.
Frankowski, who has been the director of the men’s division at the Kim Dawson Agency for 10 years, weeds out most of the photos he sees relatively quickly. In fact, less than 1 percent of the models he views are brought in to sign a contract with the agency.
Frankowski can’t quite explain “the look” he wants, but he knows it when he sees it. Crosby certainly had it.
“With him it was his cheekbones, his jawlines, his lips and his eyes,” Frankowski said. “He is the total package.”
Frankowksi invited Crosby, then a sophomore at Colleyville Heritage, to Dallas for a meeting the next day.
News of the meeting came as a surprise to Crosby. His mother, Vera, a professional photographer, had snapped a picture of Crosby playing basketball and submitted it to the agency without his knowledge. Crosby was furious.
He refused to go, but Vera insisted that he at least sit down and listen to what the agency had to offer. If he didn’t want to sign a contract, she wouldn’t make him.
“Every parent thinks their kid is cute,” Vera Crosby said. “But I knew he had the look.
“I made him go. I did. Not because I’m one of those moms, I just really thought he had something. You know how sometimes you just are sure of something? I knew there was something great about him. I knew Myles had it.”
Frankowski thought so too, and Crosby, even if he was a bit reluctant, got on board.
The following summer, the agency booked Crosby to shoot an editorial for FD Luxe. He appeared on the cover of the November 2011 issue.
The day after the photos were released, Calvin Klein came calling. And so, literally overnight, Crosby had gone from a complete unknown to a modeling wunderkind.
“I was just a normal, football-playing, jock kid and literally, miraculously, we get a call from New York,” Crosby said. “The modeling thing happened so randomly. I’m just trying to make as much as I can before college. Football is going to be my job when I’m there.”
Frankowski said Crosby has become the most recognizable model at the agency, and he could hardly believe how quickly it happened.
“To skyrocket from an editorial in FD Luxe to the Calvin Klein campaign is very unusual,” said Frankowski, who has been in the industry since 1988.
Crosby is the 11th-ranked male model in the world, according to Models.com. If he entered modeling full time right now, Frankowski said the young star would “easily” be earning a six-figure income.
A hit on the field too
Crosby, a safety, may not be a household name or face on the football field, but the sport was his first and greatest passion. And he’s good enough at it to earn a scholarship to an FBS program.
Crosby amassed 108 tackles, 13 pass breakups and two forced fumbles last season — not the sort of numbers one might expect from an athlete who moonlights as a model.
“The stereotypical model is a lot softer than I am,” Crosby said with a laugh.
The Crosby that Colleyville Heritage coach Mike Fuller knows is big, fast and strong. He’s got great body control and can quickly change direction.
Fuller also praised Crosby’s mental toughness, which was on full display during his first week of varsity competition two seasons ago.
Crosby made a big tackle and saved a touchdown late in the fourth quarter of his first varsity game against Duncanville. The hit he put on the running back, though, damaged several nerves in his neck.
He missed every practice the following week but dressed for the next game and played through the pain. The pain was so severe he actually started crying in the second half, but it didn’t stop him from racking up 18 tackles in a 37-34 victory against Hebron.
“Everybody teases him a little bit,” Fuller said, “but I think they’re all actually jealous of him. When he’s here he doesn’t act like a model, but I don’t really know what models act like.”
Crosby said he’d consider modeling again after college to make some extra money, and Frankowski said male models can continue working well into their 20s and 30s.
For now, though, Crosby is focused on football and school. He plans to major in film and is interested in directing after he graduates.
“I have a passion for football and I want an education,” Crosby said. “This modeling [stuff] could only last another year and then I’d have no education and never get to play football. I’d regret it for the rest of my life.”
Follow David Just on Twitter at @DavidJustDMN.