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Tuesday, February 5, 2013
ESPN 300 WR switches to SEC

By Damon Sayles

One of the nation’s top receivers has decided against playing in the Big 12 and will take his talents to the SEC next season.

ESPN 300 receiver Fred Ross Jr. (Tyler, Texas/John Tyler) has decommitted from Oklahoma State and is expected to sign with Mississippi State on Wednesday, according to his mother, Kay McCalister, and his head coach, Ricklan Holmes. Ross, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound four-star athlete, is the 23rd commitment for Mississippi State and the sixth receiver from the 2013 class to pledge to the Bulldogs.

According to McCalister, Ross took an official visit to Mississippi State the weekend of Jan. 25. While a secondary objective for the visit was to see the campus, Ross’ primary goal was to see family members in Starkville, Miss. He has a cousin who is an assistant basketball coach at the school and another cousin who is a student there.

“When he told [Oklahoma State] he was going to visit, one of the coaches came at him the wrong way,” McCalister said. “How they came at him, it was a turn-off to him. That’s not his demeanor. They never gave an apology.

“He uses that as motivation. He’s so humble, and they just came at him the wrong way.”

McCalister added that Mississippi State was one of Ross’ first offers -- even before Oklahoma State. Mississippi State offensive coordinator Les Koenning has been scouting Ross for a while, and the Bulldogs will get a player who finished his senior season with 86 catches for 1,594 yards and 22 touchdowns.

One of his signature games came in the Texas Class 4A Division I state quarterfinals against Frisco (Texas) Centennial. Ross finished with 13 catches, 172 receiving yards and three touchdowns in a win. He helped John Tyler finish 13-2 for the year.

“My son isn’t about the hype, glory, anything,” McCalister said. “He said he’s using the negative comments and turning them into motivation. I’m sure with my nieces being [at Mississippi State], that’s a plus, too.”