South Carolina Makes Move with Ross

Mainland HS (Daytona Beach, FL) wide receiver O.J. Ross is considered by many to be one of the best under-the-radar receivers in the entire state of Florida. Ross recently picked up an offer from the South Carolina Gamecocks. Read inside as he discusses that offer and lists his top five with

If you had asked Mainland HS (Daytona Beach, FL) WR O.J. Ross what schools he was considering the most a month ago, South Carolina probably would not have been one of the schools listed. But USC wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier, Jr. offered the talented prospect in early June, and the Gamecocks have climbed Ross' list since.

"It's a place that catches my attention," Ross said in a previous interview right after he received the offer. "They have big possibilities there."

Ross has a developing relationship with Spurrier, Jr., who is his recruiter of record and potentially his college position coach. He says the veteran wide receivers coach has been showing him a lot of attention.

"I was kind of expecting (the offer)," he said. "And then me and Spurrier, Jr. we have really good conversations, [a good] relationship really. We talk a lot. So, I was expecting that. It's a possibility that I will be going there, though."

Ross says the Gamecocks are definitely marked down as a school he will take an official visit to.

As a wide receiver prospect from Florida, Ross is fully aware of the resume Steve Spurrier has.

"Nothing negative about him," he said of his thoughts on Spurrier. "Everything is positive. I could see myself playing for him."

Those factors have the Gamecocks in his top five. He lists West Virginia, North Carolina, Purdue and Rutgers as the other four programs. He also has offers from Texas Tech, Ole Miss and Arkansas giving him 18 in all. Other than a few camps, Ross hasn't taken any visits and doesn't plan to until his season starts. Because of this he doesn't know a whole lot about the programs recruiting him.

Official visits are always an important part of the process for most recruits, but they will be especially important for Ross. While he won't make a decision until possibly signing day, he does know what he is looking for in a program.

"Immediate playing time," he said. "(A good) academic program and football program. I always talk be about the atmosphere. I've got to like the atmosphere surrounding (the program)."

Ross, who ran a blistering 4.36 forty-yard dash at the Orlando Combine on his way to landing MVP honors, believes he can be a game-changer for the team he picks. The 5-10, 176-pound receiver caught 36 balls for just under 700 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. Ross also brings versatility and says he would like to be used in multiple ways.

"To me I feel I can be a big factor," he says. "I think I can help out an offense. I use my speed to the advantage.

"I used to be a running back my freshman and sophomore year. Then I went to receiver towards the end of my sophomore year, and I fell in love with receiver so I just stuck to that."

Part of playing receiver at Mainland means up against teammate and three-star cornerback Ricardo Allen every day in practice. Allen is a rising star in the defensive back ranks in the Sunshine State. While the two have engaged in some memorable practice battles, Ross says it only helps to make them both better.

"It helps both of us out on both ends," he says. "(Ricardo) teaches me what a cornerback is looking for. And I tell him things to look out for, because really he's not going to go against most receivers that are as fast as me. So, we both help out each other and it helps a lot.

There is the possibility you could see the two take their on-going practice battle to the next level as well. Several of the same schools, including USC, are recruiting both prospects. Ross and Allen both plan to wait for some time before making a decision.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories