Ross Talks Schools, Fashion

Top linebacker prospect James Ross is just a junior but already holds three impressive offers. Are more on the way?

This weekend is big for Michigan linebacker James Ross. Not only does the class of 2012 prospect have a game on Friday night for Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep; the next morning Ross will wake up to take the PSATs.

Ross, who already holds offers from Michigan, Michigan State and Cincinnati, is hoping for a good score to shore up his academic standing with top programs.

One of the schools that will be looking forward to seeing those results is Penn State. Ross went to the spring game at State College and enjoyed his tour of the facilities and the atmosphere of the game – "the entire place is impressive," Ross said about the visit. He also went to camp there this summer, which gave him an opportunity to see the campus and interact with some players on the team.

Ross took aside one of the Penn State players and asked him questions about the program and the school.

"I spoke to one of the actual players when I was up there and got to ask him some questions about the program and things," Ross said. "He told me they don't bull-[bleep] around there or anything. He said that every school is going to have its ups and downs, but that they do things the right way there, they don't mess around."

Of course, if Ross has more questions about Penn State, he'll know who to ask. Nittany Lion Rob Bolden, who recently stunned many by becoming the first true freshman quarterback to start a season-opener for Joe Paterno, is also a product of St. Mary's.

Like Bolden, Ross is being recruited by Penn State assistant Ron Vanderlinden.

"He's been telling me when we've been able to talk how much they want me and how they like what they've seen," Ross said. "They want to see how I do this year, but hopefully there will be a verbal offer from them soon."

He also says that he is getting increased interest from Alabama and Notre Dame in addition to Ohio State. The mail keeps increasing for Ross.

Last weekend, Ross took in the Michigan season-opener as it played host to UConn. He recalls a shocking reception from the Wolverines' fans — both Ross and his father made the mistake of wearing red and white to the game.

"They thought we were Ohio State fans, we were wearing the same colors," Ross said with a laugh. "We got some stuff yelled at us and one guy, while crossing the street, flipped us the finger."

Ross said that the incident with the fans impressed him with how passionate they were and didn't rub him the wrong way at all. With that being said, he did state that he will be more careful with what he wears on future game-day visits.

"Maybe I'll wear my jersey instead," Ross said laughing.

Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at and followed at

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