Be it with his physical stature or in his actual performance during the U.S. Army National Combine sponsored by Reebok, Robert Rose of Cleveland Glenville High School clearly stood out from among his peers. He did everything but win any of the top awards that were doled out at the camp, but he clearly caught the attention of many in attendance.
"I thought the whole camp was pretty fun," Rose said. "I thought I could have did a lot better though, but I think I did pretty good while I was down here."
Reporting in at 6-4 and 238 pounds, Rose turned in an eye-popping 4.7 second 40-yard dash time on a relatively slow Alamodome track to highlight his individual effort.
"I was really happy with my speed and my drills. My 40 time went down a lot," he said. "Hopefully this will put me on a circuit where everybody in the country will know who I am. Right now I get letters just like everybody else, but nobody has really come to me with a big offer. I hope a lot of schools come look at me now and offer me."
Rose repped with the defensive lineman during individual drills at the camp. All of players at the camp had the opportunity to go with the group where they thought they would likely be recruited at. The versatile Rose played mostly at defensive end for Glenville last season but he also was used some at defensive tackle on defense for the Tarblooders and at tight end on offense.
"I think I'm better suited on defense, at defensive end," he said. "I like to play end over tackle. You're more free at end. At tackle you have more responsibility but when you're playing on the end you can just run loose."
Although the national acclaim will be nice when it finds him, it's no surprise that, for now, Rose, who made it known that he would like to go "nowhere else but the Big Ten," favors a school like Ohio State early on in the recruiting process. Glenville has had five of their scholarship players attend Ohio State in the last three years.
"I want to go to a school that's real close to home because I want to be close to my family. And to a school with a good coach and a good program," he said with a smile on his face. "A close school to me is like Ohio State. I like the Buckeyes. I'm an Ohio State fan."
Many in the know are forecasting a breakout senior season for Rose who made an instant splash in his first year at Glenville after transferring there from Cleveland Central Catholic. A performance like the one he had in the Alamodome should only increase his self-confidence.
"This really helps me because I wasn't used to all of the attention that I was getting," he said. "But I know more now than ever before about how good I can be. This really makes me more confident."
In addition to him starring on the gridiron, Rose plays on the hoop team at Glenville, one of the top teams in the Cleveland area this season. But he knows now that football will most likely be his ticket to the next level.
"In basketball I'm just another ordinary guy, but in football everybody keeps telling me that I can be ‘that guy,' " Rose said. "So I would rather take a chance on being ‘that guy' than just being another ordinary guy. I kind of believe in it now."