To many recruiting observers Josh Ross' eventual commitment to Michigan was a foregone conclusion. Conventional wisdom has been that the younger brother of former Wolverine linebacker James Ross III and the son of lifelong die-hard Maize & Blue fan James Ross II would have no choice but to don the winged helmet. That, however, has never been the thinking within the Ross household. They were determined to let the family’s youngest member find his own way. That meant allowing serious consideration of schools like Michigan State, Ohio State, and especially Notre Dame. If Michigan wound up being the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s star’s choice it would be because the Wolverines convinced him they were the best fit.
And that’s exactly what they did.
The four-star linebacker will commit to Michigan this morning thanks a layered recruiting effort that beat out the competition. The point-man in Michigan’s courtship was his primary recruiter Tyrone Wheatley.
“I can’t tell you how much him just being there means,” Ross’ father said.
The elder Ross also praised new linebackers coach Chris Partridge for the rapport he forged with josh dating back to his days as the director of player development. By the time Josh made his way back to campus last Saturday for his most recent visit the Wolverines had carried the recruiting ball into the redzone. Getting across the goal line would come down to his interaction with Michigan’s new defensive coordinator.
“After I sat down with Don Brown I knew it was time,” Josh told The Michigan Insider. “Just based on what he showed me with that defense, it fits me perfectly. I just can’t pass the opportunity up. I just had to take it. He really blitzes his linebackers. I know last year there was a couple of plays where I got right through on blitzes, and I’m getting better and better at blitzing. That’s a lot of what he does and I can see myself in his system.”
“We sat down and we watched like an hour and a half of film of how his defense is set up and going through formations. He showed me a lot of Boston College film and he showed me a little bit of Michigan film from spring ball too.”
Ross didn’t plan on coming to a decision so soon, but Brown’s presentation was so good it convinced him that there was nothing more he needed to see.
“I only talked to him once (before Saturday’s visit) and it was for like a minute,” said Ross. “I wasn’t expecting him to be as cool as he was at all. He was a real cool dude. Just a great coach. He has a lot of energy and I like that.”
The news of Ross’ commitment will almost certainly generate a great deal of excitement inside Schembechler Hall. The only person more excited than the coaches that work there will be the talented youngster’s father.
“Man, my dad was about to cry,” Ross said laughingly. “He was happy. Like I said, I just can’t pass up this opportunity. It’s the perfect opportunity for m and I can’t pass it up.”
Now the 6-2, 220-pounder is hoping other highly regarded Michigan targets will feel the same way.
“I haven’t really talked to any of them yet, but after I commit I’m definitely going to talk to them for sure,” he said. “I’m going straight after Donovan Peoples-Jones. We’ve always been cool, so we’ll see.”