Josh Ross, just a freshman, has already received offers from Michigan State and Oklahoma. (Photo courtesy of Ross family)
Josh Ross went from playing PAL Football a year ago to immediately starting as a freshman for one of the top programs in the state, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, and in one of the toughest leagues in the state. Through five games, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound linebacker had transitioned well, leading the Eaglets in tackles.
An ankle fracture has cut his season short, although the possibility remains that he would play later in the year if the team makes a deep playoff run. However, on the strength of the film from his first five varsity games, he was presented with two scholarship offers from BCS schools this week, the first player from his class to receive an offer in the entire Midwest.
“I’ve been very excited,” he said. “I was speechless when I got the offer (from Oklahoma). I was not expecting it. Then (Tuesday), I found out I got offered (by Michigan State) at lunch. One of the other students told me and I was very excited.”
Josh’s older brother, James Ross, is a starting linebacker at Michigan, leading many to the conclusion that his recruitment will lead him to Ann Arbor, as well. However, he and his family have made it clear they are open to any and all schools, especially Michigan State, where they have built a good relationship with Mark Dantonio and his staff.
“Well, we look at it as, yes, we have a connection at Michigan with his brother playing there,” said Josh’s father, James Ross Sr., “but understanding that the situation may not align the way it did for his brother. So, basically, we want to get to know everybody out there and see what everybody has to offer.”
The Ross family has gotten to know Dantonio and MSU Director of Player Advancement and Camp Director Curtis Blackwell well throughout the years, and their presence, along with the early offer, puts the Spartans in the thick of his recruitment.
“As I’ve said before whenever I’m asked about Michigan State,” Ross Sr. said. “I’ve always been impressed with the staff and how they recruit. They’ve always been very personable. Now with Blackwell coming in, the things he’s done for both of our kids, I give them a definite bump for that.”
Top prospects added to visitor list
Last week we detailed several official visitors scheduled to be in East Lansing this weekend. Early this week, the Spartans added several major names to that list, including Bolingbrook (Ill.) four-star cornerback Parrker Westphal. He will be joined by Tom’s River (N.J.) safety Otis Kearney, City College of San Francisco offensive tackle David Hedelin, Butler Community College (Kan.) offensive tackle Luke Hayes, New Smyrna Beach (Fla.) safety D’Cota Dixon, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) running back Madre London, and Montclair (N.J.) defensive end Darius Slade.
Among the top unofficial visitors will be Decatur (Ind.) Central offensive tackle Lukayus McNeil, who holds a Spartan offer, and several in-state juniors who already hold offers, including Detroit King linebacker Tyriq Thompson, and Detroit Cass Tech stars Mike Weber and Joshua Alabi.
Four-star receiver sets official
According to Scout.com’s Michael Clark, four-star wide receiver Jamil Kamara of Virginia Beach (Va.) Bishop Sullivan Catholic has set an official visit to Michigan State for the Nov. 2 clash with Michigan. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Kamara has already taken an official to Wisconsin and will take one to Pittsburgh in November, as well.
Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan State recruiting column appears weekly at detroitnews.com. For more on MSU recruiting, visit michiganstate.scout.com.