Ross discusses commitment to Maryland
Isaiah Ross had no shortage of advisors when it came to the recruiting process.
The football program at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt regularly churns major college football players, sending several prospects to Division I schools each year. So whenever Ross had a question about recruiting, there were a number of former teammates he could count on for an answer.
One of Ross’ main counselors was former ERHS defensive back Okechukwu Okoroha, now a freshman at Boston College.
“He just told me stuff to look for ... as far as college,” Ross said. “I think Boston College was one of the first schools to offer him. He said with the first offer, you’ll always have love for the school that offers you first.”
With that advice in mind, Ross thought back to when he received his first offer, which came from Maryland.
“I think it was April 24th,” Ross said. “It was my first one. I was at school while it happened, so I was pretty fired up.”
On Monday, Ross took those words of advice from Okoroha to heart. The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder committed to UM, picking the Terps over offers from Illinois, Syracuse and Buffalo. He cited that early interest as a factor in his decision.
“You’ve always got love for the team that first took a chance on you, because they kind of put you out there for other schools, also. That lets you know who really wants you and who will treat you the best.”
While Okoroha answered some of his general recruiting-related questions, Ross had another go-to consultant when it came to more Terps specific queries.
“I had a sister that graduated the same class [at ERHS] with [Maryland senior] Trey Covington,” Ross said. “They graduated together and were friends. He came over to the house a couple times, so they were pretty good friends. ... [Knowing him was] like [having] a mentor that looks out for me in helping preparing me [for college].”
When Ross arrives at Maryland next fall, he’ll join the competition to replace his mentor at LEO, a combination linebacker-defensive end. Ross, who collected 128 tackles and 13 sacks as a junior, thinks the position is the perfect fit for his talents.
“I think it’s a good position for me because it’s sort of like a linebacker that can also cover and stand up,” Ross said. “You can also put your hand in the dirt and that’s something I can do. There’s more I can do [in that position] instead of limiting myself [to another spot].”
Ross, who is considering sports management, communications and business as potential majors, said it feels good to be done with recruiting. And he’s thankful for the guidance that led him to the Terps.
“I was going to wait it out, but I started feeling pretty comfortable with it and it clears my mind as far as the recruiting process,” Ross said. “It also clears my mind so I can focus on school and going to states [in football], so that’s a big help to be committed early.”