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 player who was supposed to be a starter last season but was injured one game in.
Isaiah Ross, Junior (RS), Defensive End, #56
Major: Family Science
Collegiate Stats: 35 tackles (20 assisted), six for a loss, two and a half sacks, one fumble forced, one fumble recovered, one pass defended
High School Stats (Senior Year): 80 tackles, 12.5 sacks, two interceptions
Recruiting Ratings: Three stars by Rivals (#67 ILB), ESPN (#54 ILB), two stars by Scout (#76 MLB)
High School: Eleanor Roosevelt
Hometown: Greenbelt, Md.
High School Highlights:
How'd He Get to College Park?
Isaiah Ross was one of the top local players around in 2008, starring at local Eleanor Roosevelt High School. Ross was named the Prince George’s County Defensive Player of the Year that year, and was also named first team All-Met by the Washington Post (he was honorable mention All-Met after his junior year). Despite all these accolades, Ross was not recruited heavily out of high school, receiving offers only from Maryland, Buffalo, and Illinois. James Franklin was the main guy in Ross’s recruitment for Maryland, and ended up steering the defensive lineman to College Park.
Coming out of high school, most recruiting services had Ross as an inside linebacker, because he played a bit of it at Roosevelt and that’s what his frame suits best. However, with a time in the upper 4.8′s in the 40 yard dash, it’s easy to understand why the Maryland coaches moved him to a down lineman.
That decision has worked out well so far. After an impressive true freshman campaign was cut short by a knee injury, Ross bounced back with a great season off the bench in 2010 – playing in all thirteen games, he recorded 27 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. That sack total was higher than either of Maryland’s starting defensive ends.
Last year, Ross suffered another knee injury after making his first (and only) career start of his Maryland career. He finished the game (against Miami) with two tackles, with one for a loss, one forced fumble, and one pass broken up. We can definitively say Maryland has won 100% of Isaiah Ross's career start.
Also, here's a nice piece by Jakob Engelke on IMS about Ross. You should read it.
Isaiah "Maysack" Ross
This. All of this.
Multiple knee injuries.
Ross retakes the starting job he lost last year, staying healthy and making a great pairing with Joe Vellano.
More knee injuries.
Isaiah Ross is listed as second to Joe Vellano on the depth chart at one of the two defensive end positions, but he might be the most likely option as the starter with Vellano. Keith Bowers is currently there now, but only got the opportunity to start in the first place thanks to Ross's knee injury. There's no reason to think Ross couldn't get his old position back, as he's produced over his Maryland career and has loads of talent.
The obvious obstacle is the knee. That's two serious injuries in three years for Ross, and the question is just as much whether he'll be the same player he was before as whether he'll stay healthy.
If Ross stays healthy, at the very least Maryland should have a solid back-up defensive end who is a serious threat to start. If he doesn't, luckily this is a position where the Terps have significant depth.
Our next player went to the oldest Junior ROTC school in the nation, along with another current Terp.
kbuts151 got yesterday's right, and now he's two behind Maryland1206.
Maryland1206 - 5
kbuts151 - 3
Terpsfinish - 1
ClickClack62 - 1
Mdak06 - 1
Everybody else - 0