UNC Football Class of 2016 Signee: LB Dominique Ross

Inside Carolina takes a closer look at the Tar Heel signee.

BIO: PrepStar All-Southeast Region • Named first-team class 3A all-state as a senior at Trinity Christian • Member of the Orlando Sentinel Super 11 • Helped lead Trinity to a 14-0 record and the FHSAA 3A state championship • As a senior, had 54 tackles (33 solo), 15.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, seven quarterback hurries, broke up 10 passes, recovered two fumbles and forced four fumbles


RECRUITMENT: Last June, on a whim Ross accompanied a group of teammates to UNC’s camp. Although he watched from the sidelines, the experience initially pushed the Tar Heels into his top four along with Miami, UCLA, and Virginia Tech. With more thought, Ross decided to take the dive and commit to UNC. Ostensibly, the commitment didn’t end his recruitment – he still wanted to officially visit a couple of schools that just so happened to be home to former teammates. While a trip to Miami was eventually canceled, Ross did officially visit Virginia Tech. No matter, he signed with UNC.

WHY CAROLINA: “Coach Gene Chizik was brought into the program, so I know he’ll turn the defense around. Really, Coach J.P., Warren, and Chizik, this was the first class that they recruited, so they wanted to bring me in. I was on the visit … and it felt like being back at home. It felt close. I was comfortable. The academics are the best in the world. It just all came together.”

EVALUATION: Dominique Ross is a long, explosive athlete, who played a blitzing linebacker role (i.e. Bandit) in high school where he relied a lot on his speed. In developing into a college linebacker – where he projects as a WILL – he’ll need to bulk up and add strength. Particularly when given a clear path, he closes quickly on his target. He plays with good awareness and will adjust based on how the play develops.

HS COACH QUOTES: “He’s a kid that comes from a football family. His dad played college ball and played in the NFL. He understands the game and is really, really tough. He does well in school and he’s not going to be a problem. Dominique is an outside linebacker, he could even go to safety if they need him with his length at 6-3. He’s going to play on Sundays I think. He comes from the same type of toughness that (North Carolina freshman and Trinity graduate) Andre (Smith) comes with. He has great speed and length. He’s not a kid that Coach Chizik will be scared to put him on a slot receiver, because he can really cover.” — Verlon Dorminey, Trinity Christian

INSIDE THE COMMITMENT: It’s easy to assume that Dominique Ross was compelled to commit to UNC by Tyrone Hopper’s pledge less than a couple hours prior. However, that wasn’t the case.… Read the full subscriber-only report

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