At the beginning of the recruiting process, Riverside (Calif.) cornerback/receiver Ykili Ross wanted to spend his Saturdays during the football season taking unofficial visits to USC and UCLA. On his off weeks and after the season, Ross would head out of state for his five official visits.
Last Saturday, he made good on part of his original plan by
unofficially visiting USC in their 35-10 win against Oregon State.
“… I was just amazed by being in the Coliseum,” said Ross with a long
pause. “Just imaging playing there is a crazy feeling. The team looked
great. I can see the coaches put work in with them. It was amazing.
They’re a really good program.”
Ross’ family is full of USC fans, and while his praise is lofty, his
trip to the Coliseum was also his first this season.
The big news centers on Ross diverging from his original plan of not
officially visiting local schools. Ross now plans on returning to the
Coliseum on an official visit.
Whether the stadium will be full during the fall or empty in January
remains to be seen.
“I want to go inside, see a little bit more of the school,” said Ross.
“On an unofficial, you’re not able to do the same things that you would
on an official visit.
“I just want a getting closer look. That’s probably one of the only campuses
I haven’t really toured. I’ve seen the John McKay building and that’s
about it. I haven’t toured campus and met the professors or anything.”
People are often one of the biggest factors in recruiting. People make
a football program, and for USC, Notre Dame, Miami, Oklahoma and the
other school recruiting Ross, relationships will impact his decision.
“I think that’s going to be big,” said Ross. “I want to get to know the
players and talk to the players a lot because they know everything and
they know everything that happens on and off the field.
“It’d be better to get information from them, from the straight source
of everything. You never know what you’ll get from a coach, but you
know you can get it straight from the players.”
As of now, Ross has rescheduled two of his previous official dates, yet
the schools receiving visits remain the same.
“I rescheduled my Oklahoma visit for the Baylor game,” said Ross. “I’m
going to Notre Dame vs. Louisville. Miami I’m still visiting when they
play Florida State.
“I don’t have a date for USC yet, and I’m not sure where I’m going for
the fifth visit. I’m considering everybody still because I really want
to get out and see things. I don’t know just yet. I’ll probably want to
save a visit for the playoffs. I’ll most likely travel, so it will
probably be somewhere far.”
Closer to home, Ross has had USC head coach Steve Sarkisian and UCLA
head coach Jim Mora attend his games on consecutive weeks.
“It’s a blessing,” said Ross. “I hope some of my teammates even get
some recognition. I just do my best and go out there to get the win.
Most specially a win, being a team player.
“I’m not thinking about who is watching me during the game where I have
to make an impression for them,” continued Ross. “I’m just going to go
out there and do what I know how to do.
“I try not to look over (at the sidelines). I just keep to myself, stay
calm, be respectful and play. I need to be in the game and focused the
whole time to get the W. In the end, the coaches are satisfied by the
But as a two way star playing wide receiver and cornerback for Poly,
the debate over where he plays in college rages on. Like most other
schools, USC wants Ross as an athlete capable of playing both offense
“I actually talk to Coach (Eric) Ziskin and Coach (Keith) Heyward the
most,” said Ross. “But then I talked to a lot of the offensive coaches
at the game too.
“With USC, I talk to all of the coaches honestly. I get messages from
all of them. So I don’t think it’s really a battle between offense and
defense. They both hit me up a lot.”
Ross will return to USC
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