A recurring series where we will profile every player on Maryland's roster, counting down to kick-off against William & Mary on September 1. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.
Today we profile a running back who has ended up as the surprise front runner for the starting job.
Brandon Ross, Freshman (RS), Tailback, #45
Collegiate Stats: N/A
High School Stats (Senior Year): 181 carries for 1,172 yards and 12 touchdowns, 19 catches for 287 yards and four touchdowns
Recruiting Ratings: Three stars by Scout (#95 RB), two stars by Rivals, ESPN (#144 RB)
High School: Charter School of Wilmington
Hometown: Newark, Del.
High School Highlights:
How'd He Get to College Park?
Brandon Ross played halfback at a small school in Delaware, leading the Force to a program-best 7-3 year last season after a 2-8 record during his junior year. As a freshman, he was the school’s backup running back and then held the starting job for the last three years of his high school career.
The Terps invited Ross to a camp in College Park, and he impressed enough to merit a scholarship offer. He accepted basically on the spot. Ross was also offered by Army and Delaware State, and was recruited by Boston College and Rutgers, among others. He was a second-team all-state selection following his senior campaign.
Last year, he redshirted, earning scout team offensive player of the week honors twice.
"B-Ross". We already made a Rick Ross reference with Isaiah Ross's nickname, and this is his real nickname.
That program-best 7-3 record.
Two four star running backs just entered the program.
Ross wins out the starting job, holding off the three talented backs around him.
Ross falls behind all of them.
Heading into today, I planned on writing about how Brandon Ross was on the outside looking in at the tailback battle, behind a player with hype and experience (Justus Pickett) and two with a lot of hype (Wes Brown and Albert Reid). Turns out, I was wrong, as we have rare news on the day of the profile! Via Patrick Stevens, Randy Edsall says Ross would be the starter at tailback if the season started today.
Is that likely to be the case in three weeks? Sure, why not? It's not as if there's another guy in that list who just screams "START ME" - while there are options that we would have thought were better, we don't have the luxury of watching them practice. If I were betting on it, my guess would be that either Brown or Pickett would end up being the starter come September, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were Ross.
With this news today, it looks like a near certainty that Ross will be receiving a lot of carries this year. The raves we have been hearing about his performances during are similar to that of Joe Vellano two years ago. If he plays anything close to the level that Vellano has shown, well, it could be a good year yet.
Our next player went to a high school named after two prominent local families.
bubbasparks gets his fifth.