Ross recaps visit to USC

Ykili Ross will announce his college choice from the Alamo Dome in San Antonio (Texas) Jan. 3 from the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. USC is one of his five final choices.

Riverside Poly four-star cornerback Ykili Ross made his long awaited official visit to USC this weekend, while preparing to make a final decision on a school at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 3. from San Antonio (Texas).

Ross had unofficially visited USC numerous times, but the red carpet of an official visit has a feel all its own.

“You really got to see everything behind the scenes,” said Ross. “I got to talk to all of the coaching staff and be around the players. I got to see what USC was really about.”

The highlight of Ross’ trip was a unique experience not possible on an unofficial visit.

“The highlight was when we went to eat Saturday night,” said Ross. “We had dinner at the Coliseum. The whole stadium was shut down, so it was just a few of us there.

“That’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It was great.”

Ross spent considerable time with USC defensive backs coach Keith Heyward, who more or less took over his recruitment about midway through the season.

But with Ross ending his senior season with 50 receptions for 988-yards and 15 touchdowns, the Trojans coaching staff as a whole met with him on his trip this weekend.

“I met more with Coach Heyward, but I did talk with Tee Martin and (Clay) Helton some,” said Ross. “I also talked with Coach (Justin) Wilcox, so I think with my position, it would be mostly defense.

“I think it would be defense with some offensive packages mixed in. They really see me playing safety with some nickel back depending on the situation. I spoke to Coach Heyward and he wanted to use me like they did Josh Shaw against Notre Dame. They want a bigger defensive back that can still play over the slot on nickel situations.”

Ross’ relationship with Heyward has developed significantly since September.

“It’s been great,” said Ross. “It was big for him to meet my family on the in-home and stuff. They are very comfortable with him.”

Ross’ host on the official visit was USC freshman defensive back John Plattenburg. Rated as the No. 23 cornerback nationally out of high school, Plattenburg started several games for USC at safety this season.

Plattenburg began his high school football career at Corona (Calif.) Centennial and trained with Ross in the off season.

“I talked to him a lot on the visit,” said Ross. “It’s all about focusing and your work ethic. Your talent is natural, but what you get out of it is the hard work you put into it.”

Ross has narrowed his college options to USC, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon and Arizona State.

“That will be my top five going into the Army game and I’ll announce my decision there,” said Ross. “With USC, it’s a private school with great football and great academics.

“And it’s a program on the rise.”


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