In the world of recruiting there are prospects that get loads of attention while others can go under the radar. For some, playing at well-known programs or schools that already have pipe lines to college programs established can help with prospects receiving attention. In the case of Corsicana (Texas) Navarro J.C. weakside defensive end, Andre Ross, his story is just not one that you hear very often.
To start with, there just aren't many 6-foot-4 and 230-pound prospect playing 6-man football in Calvert, Texas.
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Playing that level of football is going to make it just shy of impossible to receive college attention, so Ross says he decided to go the junior college route. His freshman year at Navarro he red-shirted and then last year playing defensive end for the first time in his football career, Ross amassed 30-tackles and 7-sacks on the season. That's when schools started to take notice.
Since then programs like Arizona State, Texas Tech, TCU, Troy and West Virginia have all extended Ross offers along with a recent offer from Texas A&M. The Aggies offer was made last Wednesday and then just the following day another offer was made to Ross, this time from the Big 12.
"The offensive line coach (Bill Bedenbaugh) came to our spring game (April 25) and then they (Oklahoma) started talking to my coach. And then on Thursday I called and they offered me. Then they got me up on a visit, Friday and I ended up going up for that," Ross explained.
Obviously Ross wasted little time getting up to Norman just 24-hours after he received his Sooner offer for what was actually an official visit. During his time in Norman this past Friday and Saturday, it was the feeling of general comfort that stood out to him as what he liked so much about his visit.
"My host was Frank Shannon and he showed me around," he began. "All the players made me feel like I was already a part of the Sooner family. So, that was big. And I got to meet coach (Bob) Stoops, he was real cool, and coach (Jerry) Montgomery and hang out with those guys. I felt good about going up there."
Getting the chance to meet his would-be position coach in Montgomery sounds like it went as well as it could have with Ross saying he felt comfortable being around and talking to the Sooners first-year defensive line coach.
"He's a pretty cool dude," he began. "He made me feel comfortable talking to him and how he was telling me, I feel like he's going to take care of me if I go up there. Like, he will be on my side and just how he was talking to me made me feel safe and good about if I made my decision to come up there to be a Sooner."
Overall, talking about the visit as a whole and what all he likes about Oklahoma, it's his comfort level he now has with the Sooners after his recent visit that has elevated his interest in them even more.
"I wouldn't mind playing for them because they have always been a winning program but after I took my visit the interest went up very high because I felt comfortable out there," Ross replied. "And that's going to be the main thing I'm going to make my decision (based on), is where ever I feel the most comfortable, I'm going to choose that place. And when I went to OU I felt comfortable."
Before his time in Norman, it was actually the Horned Frogs that were at the top of Ross' list but that has now changed.
"At first they were in my top anyways but after my visit, I haven't visited TCU yet and TCU was number one but they (Oklahoma) became number one after the visit," he answered.
Whoever is able to sign Ross will be getting a JUCO prospect who has three years of eligibility remaining.
While people are just now finding out about the talented pass rusher, this is where the story takes another turn as wherever Ross ends up won't have to wait until next January or next summer for him to arrive on camps.
"I'll be enrolling this summer in May or June," he stated.
So knowing that he has roughly a month to make his decision, there are still some visits Ross will be taking but his decision will be made in the near future he says.
"I'm going to have my decision made before May 20 or 21. I'm going to visit TCU and Texas Tech and then I'm going to make my decision after that," he said.
So is this race down to just those three Big 12 programs for Ross?
"I might take one more visit after that (visiting TCU and Tech) but if I don't then it will come down to those three. I was supposed to go visit Texas A&M but I don't think I'm going to make that visit," Ross stated.
It was already obvious Oklahoma was targeting the junior college ranks but now it looks like one of those prospects could be a part of the Sooner football program earlier than expected.