The realization struck Staley senior Julian Ross sometime in early December, as he recalls. It provided a sudden awareness that after an illustrious high school football season, he was left without the corresponding top-level college interest. After racking up the top awards in Kansas City, he had no Division I scholarship offers.
Six weeks later, Ross is another example of just how quickly everything can change in the recruiting world.
Ross, a 5-10, 190-pound running back, signed a national letter of intent Wednesday to attend Ohio on a football scholarship.
“In all honestly, it was purely stressful,” Ross said of the recruiting process. “Having them all wait until late, I was thinking to myself, ‘Is this really all I’m going to get?’ It was just crazy stressful.”
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In early December, the end-of-season honors rolled in for Ross, who finished his senior year with 2,257 rushing yards and 41 total touchdowns. He was named The Star’s All-Metro football player of the year, the Thomas A. Simone Award winner and his conference’s player of the year.
After a long wait, the offers finally followed. Ross had his pick from eight Division I schools before settling with Ohio.
“I was definitely banking on just going straight (Division) II and not going (Division) I because I saw all these other athletes getting their offers junior year,” Ross said. “But I got the first one from Southeast Missouri, and it just snowballed from there. It’s been emotional — a huge relief.”