De Groot is a 6’10”, 230-pound defensive lineman who played one year for Western Christian High School. De Groot accounted for 50.5 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery as a senior. He was part of a Wolfpack team that finished as the class 1A state runner-up with an 11-3 record. De Groot is the son of Doug and Lee.
“Cruise played a vital role in helping Western Christian reach the championship game last fall,” commented head Northwestern football coach Matt McCarty. “He understands what it takes to play at a high level and I look forward to working with him as part of our defensive line.”