Ross ready to move forward

Among the observers in attendance at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp in Southfield last week, incoming Michigan freshman linebacker James Ross wanted to give back. The 6-1, 230 pounder remembers well his time as a high school recruit and felt he had something to contribute by being there.

“It was the first camp I ever participated in,” he said. “It’s grown since then. It’s great to see this place get better and better each time. Me and Terry [Richardson], we want to give back. We’re out here volunteering and trying to do what we can do.”

In addition to giving back to an event that helped him out, Ross noted that he had another reason for coming to the camp. His younger brother Joshua was also participating at Sound Mind Sound Body, getting his first taste of the next level of competition that he will face.

“We’re just out here trying to make him better – I take passion in trying to get him where he needs to be,” explained the elder Ross. “He’s actually at U of D right now. He’s in eighth grade. He’ll be going to St. Mary’s though. He’s a big kid. He’s going to be bigger than me. He’s about 5-10 right now at 12 years old, so he’s a big kid. He’s out here working with the big boys. I’m training with him every day and trying to motivate him and mentor him, because he’s going to be someone to reckon with, I’ll tell you that.

“He’s a linebacker or running back. He’s kind of built differently than me. He’s a leaner type guy, longer, so there’s no telling what he can do.”

Speaking of his own training, Ross explained what he has been doing to prepare for his first season of college football.

“I’m just training every day,” he noted. “Running, jumping and all that stuff. We’ve been doing a lot of agility, trying to be quick and a lot of lifting also.”

Graduating from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s on May 20, Ross is proud of the accomplishment, but quick to put it into perspective.

“It was a big thing to graduate, but it really just sort of seemed like the next step for me to being in college,” he explained. “It was just something that was done. We had the open house, prom was done, and it was just the next step to heading up to school at Michigan.

“I’m looking forward to it. There isn’t too much going on at home anyway … I’m not nervous about it, I’m more anxious than anything. I’m ready to go.”

Members of the 2012 recruiting class are moving to Ann Arbor today (Saturday) to get an early jump on training and preparing for their freshmen seasons. Ross noted that he will have the added benefit of being joined by a number of long-time friends when he gets started.

“Me and Terry, we’re going to be rooming together, so I can’t wait to get out there,” he said. “We actually played Little League together. A lot of the guys that are coming in with the class, Devin Funchess and Royce Jenkins-Stone, we all played Little League together.

“Growing up together, we’ve got this relationship. We always talked about going to school together and stuff like that, but once the recruiting process started, we realized that’s kind of hard to do. For it to actually happen; that’s a big thing and we’re really excited about it. We can’t wait to get up there together.”



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