Sleeper Hoping To Awaken Interest Of Coaches

Big and physical prospect Brandon Ross talks about his struggles the last two years and his goal of earning a scholarship.

Auburn, Ala.--Sometimes you can look at a prospect and know right away he should be one of the top players at his position. Other times you can look at a player and wonder what schools are thinking by not seriously recruiting him.

The second is the scenario with Auburn High's Brandon Ross. A powerful and fast running back prospect, Ross is still looking for his first offer and is only hearing from a handful of colleges as the Tigers begin spring practice, but things could change in a hurry when schools see him in action.

Currently 6-0, 210 with a self-reported best time of 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Ross is normally the kind of athlete who would have offers already, but growing pains in his first season at Auburn High combined with minor injury problems didn't let him put up the kind of numbers he had hoped for as a junior. Consequently, he's now in a position where he has to showcase himself as players once did in recruiting circles. He'll have to show teams his skills over the spring and summer and into his senior season and hope that's enough to earn an offer from a top school.

"I'm not really hearing from anyone seriously," Ross says. "The University of Alabama is sending me little stuff in the mail. I went to their A-Day that they had. I have visited Auburn for a spring practice as well. That's really it. I just want to be able to play at the D-I level. I'm trying to work hard in the weight room. I think if I keep working hard I'll get there.

"My confidence is growing every day," Ross adds. "We've got a good weight program. I think that's helping a lot. All of the juniors we've got now got after it last season and now that it's our senior year we're ready to take over this team."

Ross is a physical player who is hoping to explode as a senior.

A transfer from Booker T. Washington High in Tuskegee prior to his junior season, Ross hasn't played a great deal of football despite his impressive blend of size and speed. He says for one reason or another, he played very little until his family decided to make the move to Auburn for him to finish school as a Tiger.

"My tenth grade year I played running back and safety and they put me at defensive end, too," he says. "My coach only wanted to play the seniors and would tell me that he was getting me ready for prime time. The only problem was I was running over all the seniors already in practice and basically got ignored.

"I asked him why he wouldn't play and he kept giving me the run-around. My family finally got enough money to move to Auburn so I could go to a better school and better program."

Playing on the same team with several standouts including top safety prospect Dee Finley, Ross says it helps his game every day the offense and defense line up against each other. With plenty of chances for just that in the next six months, Ross says he believes that his fresh start at Auburn will pay dividends because he's going to work until it does.

"It's kind of like working out to me," Ross says. "Guys always ask me why I'm working out because I'm already big. I tell them that I've seen guys on the next level that are bigger and faster and it makes me want to get better. I don't plan on stopping until I get there. Competition is competition. It brings out the best in everybody."

This spring Ross is splitting his time between the football field and the track as he also throws the shot and discus for the Tigers and occasionally runs the 100 and 200 as well. With a bench press of 310 pounds and a squat of 470 pounds, Ross is the complete physical package and now he just has to show he can put it together on the field.

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