Ht/Wt: 5'11" / 180 lbs.
Location: Detroit (Mich.) Western
Offers: Central Michigan
Scout.com Ranking: 3-star (No. 79 Running Back)
My ranking: 3-star (71.5 / 100)
At 5-foot-11 and nearing 180 lbs., Ross is a stout back that has the frame to both support and benefit from additional size in the future. During his junior season for Detroit (Mich.) Western, Ross remained compact enough to run behind blockers and accelerate quickly through gaps, and while this should remain as a fold in his game, expect Ross to add mass over the next six months. His wide shoulders and hip-base suggests that additional size will not hinder his agility and quickness.
On tape Ross runs is a strong runner that is infrequently brought down on first contact. His tendency to run through arm tackles forces leads to an unusually high yards-after-contact for a back of his size. This is a trait that will only improve for Romello as he adds size in the future before entering college.
Thanks to his cut-and-go mentality, Ross reaches the second level quickly and uses his rapid leg turnover to accelerate through the defensive backfield. He can reach the edge in a hurry and from there is as much of a threat to go the distance as anybody. On film few had success besting Ross in a foot race and he seems to have no issue beating opponents to the spot as speed is a strength in his arsenal.
With his penchant for running around defenders, Ross uses quick, choppy steps to evade his pursuers. Ross is more of a quick, shifty running back than a blazing back at this point; while he does not have elite straight line speed, he is difficult to corner and uses his quick jump cuts to tack together long runs.
This is an area of Ross' game that will help him a great deal in college as he adds on size. Ross has great balance that allows him to maintain his footing through the hole as defenders leap and alter his intended path. Thanks to Ross' balance, these efforts are typically futile as he uses a superior center of gravity and pad level to aid in his ability to stay upright and gain additional yardage.
Change of Direction: 7.5
While Ross is not exceptionally explosive coming out of his cuts, he does plant and change direction fairly well, using his superior balance to quickly rebound and shift his running alley. Given Ross' competition, this is a move he uses with great success to create separation from the defense.
Romello has good footwork in the sense that it allows for him to continue his runs, but from a technical standpoint it could serve to be improved. The location of his steps is far from streamlined, but that is because he takes unorthodox routes that maneuver around defenders. His footwork on passing patterns is solid and he looks light on his feet, which is a good sign that he can continue to be a threat out of the backfield in the future.
Pass Block: 6
There is not a lot of film on Ross' blocking ability at this point and that is one question that should be answered on the camp circuit over the summer. With his size pass blocking could be an issue if his form is not on point, but Ross appears to use good leverage on the few blocks he lays on tape. This is an area that is hard to grade at the moment, but all signs point to his possibility as an adequate pass blocker by the time he gets to college.
Ross becomes a homerun threat thanks to his great vision and ability to find creases in the defense. This allowed for Ross to turn would-be marginal runs to long, hearty gains for Western in 2013. When combined with his change of direction, Ross' vision makes him a dangerous threat in the return game as well. This versatility may materialize in college as well.
Also a skill that is not shown in abundance on film, Ross appears to be a competent pass catcher when asked to do so. This is a skill that he is sure to shore up during the offseason in 7-on-7 work. Ross displayed good footwork on the few routes he ran on his junior highlight tape and he looked comfortable in that role.