Wednesday, May 8, 2013
2013 juco DE now has variety of options
By Bob Przybylo
It’s no secret that Oklahoma has been looking to dip into the junior college waters to try to find one more recruit for its Class of 2013.
The Sooners spent a good chunk of February looking for a diamond in the rough. Turns out OU simply had to wait another two months before he emerged.
The Sooners are hoping to add junior college defensive end Andre Ross to their 2013 recruiting class.
And the timing couldn’t be better for OU and juco defensive end Andre Ross (Corsicana, Texas/Navarro JC). Ross thought he would be spending one more semester playing juco, but when he went over things with his coaches last month, he realized he was now eligible to play for a D-I college in the fall. He had completed 48 hours of juco coursework and was cleared by the NCAA.
“It’s about time. That’s all I can say. Finally,” Ross said.
OU officially entered the picture late last week, offering Ross on Thursday. By that time, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Texas Tech, TCU, West Virginia and Troy already had offered. But 24 hours after getting the OU offer, Ross was on campus for an official visit.
Ross, who is 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, was hosted by linebacker Frank Shannon and said one thing stood out about his visit.
“Everybody made me feel real comfortable,” Ross said. “They made me feel like I was already a part of the team. That was important for me, because when it comes to deciding on where I’m going to play, it’s going to be about how comfortable I am.”
The OU visit couldn’t have gone any better for Ross, but the Sooners are playing the waiting game. Ross is visiting TCU on Wednesday and hopes to visit Texas Tech before making a decision in the next couple of weeks.
Ross said he is ready to step onto campus June 1 no matter where he ends up. OU was his first visit, but TCU has recruited Ross the hardest.
Ross played his high school football at Calvert (Texas) High, a school that plays 6-man football. Back then, Ross was being recruited as a wide receiver. But as his body filled out, it became clear his future is as a speed-rushing defensive end.
TCU knew Ross had no chance of qualifying as a freshman and recommended Navarro Junior College. The two years have done wonders for Ross, on and off the field.
“It has really helped me mature,” Ross said. “I grew a lot as a player and taught me the value of hard work.”
But he never thought a school like OU would come calling. The Sooners first expressed interest last month at the Navarro spring game, and things have picked up considerably since then with defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery.
“He’s a big reason about why I’m thinking about OU,” Ross said. “He’s very cool and made me feel real comfortable down there.
“I always knew OU was a great school. It fits because I want to play for a winning program. OU is definitely a winning program.”
Ross said he spent quality time with OU coach Bob Stoops as well, and said all of his questions have been answered. He let Stoops know he wants to take a couple of more visits and will then make his decision.
Ross has three years of eligibility left and had 33 tackles and seven sacks last season. There is no doubt in his mind he is ready for this opportunity.
“I’m not really looking at the depth chart,” Ross said. “To me, it doesn’t matter who is in front of me or anything like that. I know what I can do.”
The Sooners have signed three defensive ends for their 2013 class.