Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
JULIUS JAMAAL CROSSLIN was born November 1, 1983, in Amarillo, Texas, to Gina Crosslin and William Freeman, Jr. Julius' birth marked many of firsts to come in his life. He was his mother's first child (first son) and following his maternal side of the family first grandchild, great grandchild, and great-great grandchild. Julius' great-great grandmother said of him, " He is going to be someone very special." And it came to be, but one would not realize just how special until you got to know him.
Julius started his education in Amarillo, Texas at Opportunity School where it was noted that he was a very eager learner. He absorbed what was being taught like a sponge. However, when he came home and you'd ask him what he learned for that day, he would hand you his book bag and say, "I didn't learn anything."
Julius, of course, did learn something. He was a very good and attentive student, averaging A’s, and B's. But while in school, even at the elementary school level, Julius showed signs of being gifted athletically. While attending Hamlet Elementary and Horace Mann Middle School, he would win ribbons with Kids, Inc., medals, and championships in the sports of football, basketball, and track. Around 10 years old, Julius participated in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in both basketball and track. In basketball, his team was invited to a tournament in Cocoa Beach, Florida. After winning their first bracket, a hurricane hit the city. After the storm, the tournament resumed, but the team, having been shaken by the storm, lost their next game. In AAU track, Julius was invited to try out for the Hershey Invitational held in Hershey, PA; to run the 100-yard dash. Julius won second place missing qualifying by .01 of a second. However, it would be in high school where he would really get noticed.
Julius excelled academically and athletically at Palo Duro High School. He was a participant in the Achievement Through Commitment to Education (ACE) Program where students pledged to maintain at least an 85-grade point average, a 95% attendance record and appropriate behavior while in high school. Under the program, once the criteria was met, students would be awarded scholarships to attend Amarillo College or West Texas A & M University (WTAMU). Julius would begin high school playing football, basketball, and running track. It would be football that won his heart. Julius would play defense most of his high school career. His senior year he would play offense and defense. Julius was an unselfish teammate. He would do whatever he was asked to help his team be successful. His senior year, he would help lead Palo Duro to regional play. Julius was an All-District performer and made the Amarillo Globe News Super Team. Before graduating high school, a former teammate called and told Julius about a college combine hosted by WTAMU. Julius participated and left, not realizing the impression he made on those presents. He was called back to receive his awards. Julius received many scholarships offers to various universities but would accept a full scholarship to Oklahoma State University. After leaving to attend college, Julius would be awarded Amarillo's Blair Cherry Award.
At OSU, from 2003-2007, recruited by then head coach, Les Miles, the decision was made to make Julius a predominantly offensive player at the fullback position. Julius would be a key performer as a blocker, runner, and on special teams. He played in 4 bowl games.
Julius would go on to be signed with the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL) as an undrafted free agent where he played some preseason games and on the practice squad for two seasons. After being cut from Dallas, he came back to Amarillo to train and work as a guard at the prison but decided that was not the career path he wanted. He moved to Stillwater, OK and cut out a niche for himself. He was hired by Verizon and remained there until his passing.
Julius accomplished many things in his short life, but his greatest accomplishments were that of father and friend. Julius adored his children. There was nothing too great or small that he wouldn't do with them or for them. They were truly the spark in his eyes. He was so very proud of them. Then there were his many friends. If you knew Julius, then you knew you were more than friends, you were family. And let's not forget his love of animals. Julius talked of being a veterinarian. After attending college, playing football, and balancing his academic schedule, he decided to go another path and chose to major in education, receiving a bachelor’s degree. Julius' favorite animals were dogs and horses. He accepted cats, too, or maybe the cats accepted him.
Julius was preceded in death by his father William Freeman, Jr.: his brother Justin Patterson, grandfathers Merlin Crosslin and William "Tiny" Freeman, Sr., and Grandmother Andrea Freeman.
Julius leaves to continue his legacy of love and kindness; his mother Gina Crosslin, grandmother Gracie Crosslin; his children Terrence Burri (bonus child), Aenius and Amai Crosslin; his siblings Ian Crosslin, Stephanie Hernandez, Jordan Hernandez, Tanisha Bailey, Anthony Bailey, Adrienne Freeman and Ashley Freeman; aunts Dana Crosslin, Felecia (CM) Pier, Stephanie (Chet) Winters, Theola Woods; uncles Mark Crosslin and Myron Freeman; special "Pops" Mulkey Heath, Jr. and many, many aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends he referred to as brothers and sisters.