Name: James Ross
Location: Detroit, MI
Ratings: ESPN – Watch List* (40), Scout – 4*, 247 Sports - 4*
Recruitment: Ross actually grew up a bit of an Ohio State, but with defensive minded coaches like Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison, he started to come round to the Michigan way of thinking. Penn State was also a big challenger given that they are ‘Linebacker U’ and they have Ross’ former teammate Rob Bolden. The RJS commitment certainly helped Michigan, and his decision was accelerated by the Joe Bolden commitment, as Ross wanted to get in the class while he still could.
Offers: Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, USC, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri, Arizona State, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue and Cincinnati.
Stats: Currently stands at 6’1 and 215lbs. Runs the forty yard dash in 4.6 seconds. As a sophomore he made 103 tackles, five sacks, five forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and an interception. As a junior he had 95 tackles, five sacks and one interception.
ESPN Analysis: None available.
Scout Analysis: pending...
Film Highlights: Link here.
Final Thoughts: After taking four linebackers in the class of 2011, who’d have thought Michigan would take four more in 2012? Fortunately the fourth linebacker in 2012 just so happens to be the top player in the state of Michigan and one of the top linebackers overall in the country.
Ross’ commitment means that Michigan now has two of the Detroit trio committed, and all that remains is CB Terry Richardson. UM is looking to take at least one corner in this class, so expect Ross and RJS to be recruiting Richardson to the Maize and Blue.
As for Ross’ future at Michigan, even with his heralded status as a recruit, he might have to redshirt given the amount of linebackers already on campus in 2012. But after a year or so he’s got the talent to push for playing time early on.
He’s listed as a MLB on most sites; however he’s been recruited to Michigan to play the OLB position.
EDIT: Forgot to say this originally, Ross played injured last year and still turned in pretty good performances. But expect bigger things this season from him, his game should step up a level or two and I'll bet right now that he finishes higher in the rankings than he is right now. Five star might even be a possibility on scout.com, seen as he's already #72 and the top 50 get 5 stars.