Coming to a decision today, Gross let music lead him to the tougher choice. Gross committed to Rutgers as a preferred walk-on, citing the song "Dreams and Nightmares" by Meek Mill as what put him over the top.
"I'm very excited to follow that passion," Gross said. "I have dreams. [The song] is about following your dreams. I've been following my dream for football since I was eight years old and I'm so excited to fulfill that by going to Rutgers. I was listening to that song this morning and that just made so confident that I can do this."
Gross is one of the top high-school defenders in New Jersey, but went without a football offer because of his size. At 5-foot-10, 215 pounds, Gross plans to bring his scrapper style to Rutgers and continue to succeed as an underdog.
"I'm here to show the world," Gross said. "I've always been that underdog because of my size, but I'm ready to take it to an even higher level. First thing, I'm going to help my teammates try to win [a state championship] in wrestling, but then I just feel ready to go."
Gross delivered the news tonight in a phone call to defensive line coach Jim Panagos. Panagos, who initially recruited Gross to UCF before coming to Rutgers, remained in contact with Gross throughout the process.
He visited Gross at school shortly before Signing Day and will likely be his position coach in college. Gross said he is going in to either play defensive line or fullback.
Gross said he is aware of the challenges of being a walk-on, especially at his size. Rutgers, however, has a history of success with players in similar situations like linebacker Gary Brackett and defensive tackle Ramel Meekins.
"Coach Panagos and coach Anthony both have a lot to offer me," Gross said. "They're the best right now. They have great coaches and they're heading to the Big Ten, who wouldn't want to be a part of it?"
"I feel comfortable with them," he said. "I have friends, Leonte Carroo and Darius Hamilton over there. I just, overall, feel really comfortable with them. [Graduate assistant Anthony Campanile] was one of my coaches at Don Bosco and he means a lot to me as well. Having those guys made it easy to decide to join them. I talked it over with my family and we all feel good about it."