Playing homage to a fellow Jacksonville (Fla.) native, North Carolina signee Dominique Ross says he’ll wear No. 3 during his college career.
“I just wanted something different,” Ross said. “And Sam Smiley just finished with the number, so he asked me to carry on the tradition.”
During his career at Trinity Christian Academy, Ross sported No. 21.
Although his jersey number will change, Ross’s role will remain the same at UNC. He says he’ll play outside linebacker. And – especially early on – he’ll be relied upon to put pressure on the quarterback with his blitzing ability.
Most of UNC’s 2016 signing class received a workout packet put together by Lou Hernandez, the Tar Heels’ strength and conditioning coach. Ross is the rare exception. With Hernandez’s blessing, Ross will follow Guss Scott’s regimen. Scott, an assistant at Trinity Christian, is a protégé of Hernandez’s and a four-year NFL veteran.
“I talked to Coach Lou and he said just to do whatever Coach Guss tells me,” Ross said. “[Hernandez] said that Coach Guss knows exactly what he wants me to work on. It’s not much different than what we were doing before.”
Ross, who played his senior season at 6-foot-3 and 203 pounds, is up to 210.
Before focusing solely on the weight room, Ross was a part of Trinity Christian’s basketball team. Success on the hardwood was much different than that on the gridiron. After going undefeated and winning the FHSAA 3A Football Championship, the basketball team snuck into the playoffs and was ousted in the second round.
“We’re not really a basketball school,” Ross said. “Our basketball team was mostly football players. So, we were basically a bunch of athletes out there playing basketball.”
Ross, who says he has passed the NCAA Eligibility Center and UNC admissions, will report to campus on June 14. When he arrives, he’ll share a suite with Rontavius Groves, Roscoe Johnson, and K.J. Sails.
“K.J. texted me the one day and said, ‘Hey, since we’re both from Florida, do you want to room together,’” Ross said. “And then I think the coaches just put us together with Rontavius Groves and Roscoe Johnson.”
Ross plans to major in Business with a concentration on real estate.
“I’ve always been interested in real estate,” Ross said. “That’s something I want to get into once my playing days are over.”