A Rose by any other name is certainly not the 6-5, 260-pound specimen that you'll find toiling along the defensive line at Glenville High School this year.
The new and improved Robert Rose has been a top attraction at camps all over the country since his appearance at the Army All-American Combine in January. He's gotten a lot bigger and stronger and faster in the off-season.
And he's coming off of a solid junior campaign that helped him net a scholarship offer from Jim Tressel and Ohio State on national signing day last February. Obviously many other schools from across the country have gotten in on Rose since and he was able to sample some of those schools when he went on the much-publicized summer camp tour with his head coach and teammates in June.
"Everything is going all right. I'm getting ready for the season. It's good, it's cool," Rose said. "My top five is Ohio State, Illinois, Florida, LSU and North Carolina. When I went on the tour I went to a lot of camps and I liked everybody really. But there's still no leader, still no favorite. Everybody's still in the race."
He's says that with all sincerity, but Rose knows that everyone knows the expectations of someone like himself, being a much-coveted player from Glenville.
"Yeah of course there's always the love for Ohio State but there's still no leader," he said.
It's time now for Rose to shift his focus off of recruiting and on to the season ahead. There'll obviously be more time dedicated to the recruiting process during the fall when he makes time for official visits to some of his top schools. Rose, along with Ray Small, Bryant Browning and some of his other Tarblooder teammates, will be in the Horseshoe for the Ohio State-Texas game.
"I just want to do everything I can to make my team better. I'm just trying to do the best that I can to make my team better and make the people around me better," Rose said. "My personal workouts are going well, better than last year. I've taken it a step further so I should be more prepared than what I was last year. And as a team I think we're doing better also. It's exciting."
Rose will line up on defense at his customary end position but he'll get some work periodically on the interior part of the line as well. He played particularly well on the inside in the state semifinal loss to Canton McKinley.
"Right now it's looking like I'll play mainly at defensive end but I'm probably going to play a little inside too," he said. "I can do both very good so I can just swap any time. I'd rather play end but I can play tackle too. And I'll probably play a little at tight end but we're going to be in a spread so it won't be that much."
As far as his recruitment goes, schools are looking at him to utilize his 4.7-second speed as a defensive end for the most part.
"I'm being recruited at defensive end and that's where I'd like to play," Rose said, "But I wouldn't have a problem playing on the inside at the next level."
He knows the expectations are really high for both himself and his team this year and that's motivating him even more. Glenville advanced to the state semifinals last year and they may field their best all-around team ever this season. And Rose is definitely regarded as one of the top defensive prospects in the entire country.
"I'm just getting ready and looking forward to Mentor," he said. "We're going to have a great season, I can just tell. I'm counting the days."