Dowling Catholic offensive lineman Zach Ross heard from his head coach, Tom Wilson, in February that Iowa State had interest, and that message became more evident when he visited Ames in the first days of April.
After watching practice, Ross was summoned to Matt Campbell’s office.
“He called me in his office and asked me how it’d feel to get a scholarship. It was amazing. I was just like, ‘Wow, I’m a sophomore.’ I was amazed,” Ross said. “I was surprised it came so early, kind of, as a sophomore.”
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Ross, who will play right guard for Dowling this fall as a junior, has quickly become a top target for the Cyclones in the 2018 class and likely projects as an interior prospect at the next level, potentially at center.
Ross camped with Iowa State at its Saturday Night Lights camp this weekend and followed it up with a trip to Iowa for a camp on Sunday to begin a busy month. He’ll camp at Notre Dame, Nebraska and Wisconsin by the end of June.
“It went really well,” Ross said of the Iowa State camp. “I showed [Tom Manning] what I had and he liked it, so it went really good.”
What has Manning liked about Ross?
“He said he likes how physical I am and how I dominate when I am on the field,” Ross said. “I can play any position on the offensive line.”
NCAA rules limit communication between schools and 2018 prospects until the fall to only phone calls made from the prospect. Since Iowa State can’t currently reach out to Ross, he has taken the initiative to reach out to the staff.
“I call Mitch Moore, the recruiter, once a week, just to talk to him to say, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’” Ross said. “We have a good relationship, we talk every week and I’m just making a better bond with Iowa State I guess.”
Ross, who has already been on multiple trips to Iowa State since the offer, plans to return to Ames on June 20 for Iowa State’s Big Man Camp.
For now, he knows Iowa State wants him.
“He wants me to be a Cyclone,” Ross said of what Campbell has told him. “He said that he’s going to recruit the crap out of me. He said he needs to keep the Iowa O-linemen in Iowa.”