Josh Ross has been on Michigan’s campus on more than a handful of occasions, leaning on older brother James Ross, already a linebacker with the Wolverines, for guidance and advice regarding the football program in Ann Arbor.
Tuesday, the 2017 Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary’s four-star talent made his way back to Ann Arbor to check out the Wolverines again, also bringing mom and dad along for the trip.
This visit provided the opportunity to get to know Jim Harbaugh the person a little better than the coach.
“It was definitely different,” Ross said. “We were with the coaches all the time. Coach Harbaugh, he’s hilarious. I’ve never really been around…I’ve been around some people in my class, but some people I didn’t know like Carter Dunaway from Brother Rice and others, I didn’t know them too well, but I got to know them pretty well while I was there.”
“We walked around the campus and he was at the tour, talking about and having a good time,” added Ross. “(Coach Harbaugh) was hilarious.”
Although the Ross family was presented with more information and exploration around campus, the focus of this visit centered mostly on building a better bond with the Wolverines’ coaching staff.
“After the tour was over, we had dinner,” Ross said. “Before the tour, we all met in the field house and were looking at all the stuff. We were just reading all the coaches stuff while kicking with the coaches.
“That was pretty much it, not too much that we did. We also watched a couple of videos, highlights of people that went to the NFL and stuff like that.”
With several other highly rated in-state prospects on the visit as well, Ross said the rest of the group couldn’t get over the personality on display from the first year Michigan coach.
“Coach Harbaugh, he’s hilarious,” Ross said. “I didn’t know that he was that funny of a guy. We all just having a good time with Coach Harbaugh.”
Although the coaching staff refrained from pressuring any of the top prospects from committing on the spot, Harbaugh didn’t shy away from letting everyone know if it happened he would be more than okay with the decision.
“Yep he said that,” Ross said. “He was like, if anyone wants to come up to me and tell me you want to commit, I’m here, tell me (laughter). When we were watching videos, he told everybody that.”
Ross said he plans to be at Sound Mind Sound Body camp but doesn’t have any other college visits setup currently, attempting to figure out what days his dad might have off of work.
Despite no set plans, Ross is aware of a few schools he’d like to see.
“I’m trying to go to Notre Dame again, but I don’t know about that,” he said. “Then today, I was supposed to meet with Michigan State, but I’ve got to see about my ride and stuff. That’s about it. I don’t have any visits planned for this summer.”
Asked directly where Michigan sits on his current list, Ross responded confidently.
“Michigan is always going to be up there just because the fact my brother goes there and the coaching staff and stuff,” he said. “They’re up there definitely. I like them a lot.”
“Notre Dame, Michigan State, Ohio State, all of them pretty much in the Midwest is up there with them,” added Ross.
The Irish appear to be an intriguing option for Ross after recently taking a visit to South Bend.
“It reminds me a lot of my high school, the tradition and everything, old fashioned campus remind me of my high school,” he said.
“I love the defensive coordinator for Notre Dame. He’s a cool guy. I sat down and talked to him for a while. It’s all the stories they were telling me. I’m just like, wow, people really love Notre Dame, so it must be a good place.”
In the process of figuring out what he’s really looking for in a program, the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder didn’t hesitate to lay out the criteria.
“Just relating to the coaches, tradition of the school, academics and that’s really what I’m looking for all together,” he said.