Pius X receiver/defensive back DuBois Ross is noticing an increase in the amount of mail he's been receiving of late. And his head coach, Phil Stambaugh, made note of it.
"'Boise' is getting the most mail (from colleges) of any of our players right now," Stambaugh said.
Ross has generated interest from numerous FBS programs, including Alabama, Boston College, Connecticut, Eastern Michigan, Florida State, Miami (FL), Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Wisconsin and FCS rep Youngstown State. Ross said Alabama, Michigan State and Rutgers are the newest schools to reach out to him.
"They're sending me letters about how they did in their weekend games - just general interest at this point, no talk of any positions or anything like that," Ross said.
But Ross' film has really impressed a pair of the 16 programs interested in the Royals' junior.
"The coaches at Connecticut and Temple were really happy with my films and an offer could be coming soon from them," Ross said, adding he will send out films to all interested schools but that he hasn't gotten film to all of them yet.
Because Pius X plays mostly Saturday football games, it's hard for Ross to make in-season visits to programs. He said he has a wish list of schools to visit which includes Rutgers and Pitt, visits he hopes to make sometime in November (as PIAA Class A playoff games are mostly played on Friday nights, with only a few exceptions).
Ross was utilized in the Royals' spread offensive attack more as a running back in his sophomore season, when he finished with 582 rushing yards, 337 receiving yards and 18 total offensive touchdowns. As a junior, Ross has shifted to focus more on playing wide receiver, and the last month of numbers would suggest he's starting to feel "at home."
Over Pius X' last four games, Ross has hauled in nine touchdown passes, including six within the last two weeks. He's up to 29 receptions for 591 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season, along with 110 yards and three additional touchdowns on the ground. He's one of three Royal receivers with at least 25 catches (Matt Camilletti and Drake Freeman are the others) but is the only receiver with double-digit touchdown receptions to date.
"It's just about getting on the same page as my quarterback, (sophomore) A.J. Long," Ross said, noting the rapport he developed with his quarterback during summer passing camps is starting to emerge more and more.
"I think we went to at least 10 camps together this summer," Ross said. "Playing receiver (more than running back) has been a good fit. I didn't expect to have more touchdown receptions than Cam (the aforementioned Camilletti is Pius X' career leading receiver), but I came into the season hoping to be an asset to the team and help us to win."
At 7-1 overall, the District 11 Class A tournament gets under way in two weeks time, and Ross alluded to the Royals working hard to get prepared for the playoffs. The lone blemish in the record this season came at the hands of Pittsburgh (Pa.) University Prep, 24-12, the sixth week of the season at Cupples Stadium in Pittsburgh. University Prep is a AAAA school, three classes larger than the Royals.
"That was a great test for us - it showed us how hard we have to work and what we have to do to be successful in the playoffs," Ross said. "We're looking forward to a state title ultimately, but right now everything is step-by-step."
Pius' 2010 season was ended in the D11 A championship game by Schuylkill Haven. Winning the D11 crown would be a big deal, Ross said. Pius X last won a D11 football championship in 2004.
"That would be a big hurdle to get over," Ross said. "And our coaches have told us about some of the teams we might face in the state playoffs. It's exciting."