LSU trip impressed Ross

Vanderbilt Catholic's Joel Ross (6-2, 300, 5.0) is one of the best defensive tackles in the state of Louisiana and he was in Baton Rouge this weekend for Junior Day at LSU.

Ross was named first team all-district and all-state team for his performance as a junior when he recorded 62 tackles, 10 of which were for loss, six sacks, three batted balls and three fumble recoveries. He currently has a scholarship offer from Ole Miss but will likely pick up more as the 2008 recruiting season progresses.


Are there any early favorites for the South Louisiana boy?


"My favorites right now are LSU, Ole Miss, Florida, Notre Dame and USC," Ross said. "Before this weekend, I wasn't real big on LSU because I was just on the outside. But now, I got to see the inside of the program.  I know what I'd be getting at LSU."


Some of the things that stood out the most to Ross during Junior Day were the training and the academic facilities.


"Their training room was tight," he said. "It was real nice.  They have the best training program in the country. Everything was all real high tech and they had a bunch of great equipment. I was real impressed by that.


"I also liked their academic facilities. I've never seen anything like the setup they had before. The trip went real well. It was even better than I thought it would be."


Aside from getting to know LSU's buildings better, Ross also had an opportunity to talk to Tiger coaches Doug Mallory and Earl Lane, both of whom he was impressed with. 


Mallory is the LSU recruiter for Joel's area and the two were able to meet prior to junior day. Although, an offer was not extended by the Tigers one could be coming his way soon.


"Coach Mallory came by my school about a month ago and I've seen him at camps too," he said. "So I had met him before this weekend. He's a cool guy. They said that they wanted to see a little more of me on film but that I was the kind of guy that could come in and keep the tradition that LSU has going with the d-line."


Aside from the LSU coaches and the staff at Ole Miss, Ross has talked to coaches from Notre Dame recently, and says several other schools, including Florida and USC, have sent him letters in the mail.


Some of those coaches may get a chance to work with Ross this summer.


 "Our spring football starts up in either March or April," he said. "I'm not really sure when, but I'm excited about it. After school is out, I want to go to camps at Florida and maybe USC this summer. I'm also going to look at camps closer to home."


Although the closeness factor could help him decide on a school, Ross said that distance from home will not be a huge issue for him when he is making his decision.


"First of all, I want to find a good academic school, because I'm going to need something to fall back on after football," he said. "Then, I want to go somewhere and play. I don't want to have to wait until my junior or senior year before seeing the field."

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