Ross Taylor-Douglas considers himself driven. He received an undergraduate degree from Michigan in three years, and he has a new goal.
Douglas' next step is at Rutgers, where he begins both his battle for a starting cornerback spot and his master's degree in two weeks.
Douglas moves in Thursday and begins classes the next week.
“I'm excited to get there because there is a lot of buzz around Rutgers right now,” said the Michigan graduate transfer. “Coach [Chris] Ash is doing a good job with the way that they train. Coach [Kenny] Parker is phenomenal with the players and coach Ash is very personable, so I can't wait to play for him.”
Douglas committed to Ash in January, and without spring football at Michigan, he did everything possible to stay in shape.
“I've watched a lot of film and I'm working out a lot,” he said. “I was just down in Houston for five or six days straight working out with position stuff out there. I'm trying too keep my technique right and keep my speed up. I'm not the type of person to talk about everything I'm doing but I'm working hard to get myself ready for Rutgers football.”
A projected early starter at cornerback, Douglas spoke highly of both Ash and position coach Aaron Henry.
“Coach Henry is a young coach, so we relate.,” Douglas said. “I think he's 26 or 27 and I'm 21 so we get along. One of his college teammates, Aubrey Pleasant, I know very well because he was a GA at Michigan. I know all about him playing at Wisconsin, and I'm excited to work with him as well.
“... Coach Ash's history speaks for itself. If you're a defensive back, I don't see why you wouldn't play for him. Look at the guys he's been around and what he does as far as improving techniques and improving the cerebral part of the game. Coach Ash is a guy you want to be around. I truly believe he can take me to the next level. That's why I chose to go to Rutgers.”
A primetime Michigan kickoff has a red circle on Douglas' calendar but Washington takes precedence for the savvy veteran.
“I'm excited for that Michigan game of course, but I'm more excited for Washington on Sept. 3,” he said. “You have to take it one game at a time, and my first game is important. You can't overlook any opponent. Right now, the first objective is to beat Washington on Sept. 3.”
Douglas shifts his academic focus to a masters degree at Rutgers, where he begins his labor relationships education for the first summer session.
“It's funny how things work out because I graduated from Michigan in three years, and I decided to transfer for my last two years of eligibility and I was blessed enough to get an opportunity at Rutgers,” he said. “[Labor relations] is one of their top programs at the school. My mother is an educator. She's a dean. She always preached education in my family and my brother just graduated with a PhD in physiology. Education has been stressed since I was a little kid. It's nice to put a smile on my mom's face knowing that I graduated from Michigan in three years and I will be getting a master's degree from another Big Ten school.”