High School Sports

Staley’s Julian Ross, The Star’s All-Metro football player of the year, signs with Ohio

Staley High School’s Julian Ross broke free from Park Hill South’s Jake Springer during a game in November.
Staley High School’s Julian Ross broke free from Park Hill South’s Jake Springer during a game in November. jtoyoshiba@kcstar.com

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.”

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.

Staley senior Julian Ross was presented with the Thomas A. Simone Award on Tuesday as the top player in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The ceremony was held in the the Staley High School gymnasium.

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.”

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