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June 26, 2010

New Terps running back recruit a 'home-run hitter'

An introduction to Brandon Ross nearly three years ago still resonates in the mind of Tyran Rice, The Charter School of Wilmington (Del.) football coach.

“My first impression was basically, ‘This kid is fast. He looks like an athlete.’ That was my first impression,” Rice said of Ross, then a freshman going out for the Lightning Bolts’ varsity.

Ross earned a spot on Rice’s team and didn’t disappoint. He served as Charter’s backup running back as a ninth-grader, and took over the starting job in his sophomore and junior seasons, showcasing that speed and athleticism Rice first noticed in the summer of 2007.

At Maryland’s one-day camp last Sunday, Ross had a chance to show the Terps coaches those very same qualities. Ross’ performance in College Park earned him a scholarship offer, which he accepted shortly thereafter to become the 12th known commitment of Maryland’s 2011 recruiting class.

“For him, Maryland was always in the picture. Other schools were interested in Brandon, but Brandon wanted to go to Maryland,” Rice said. “There were various schools interested in Brandon. Army had already offered, Delaware State offered on the spot at Maryland’s camp. Schools like Rutgers and Boston College were extremely serious. They were looking for him to come to their one-day camps. Maryland’s camp was first. The rest is pretty much history.”

Ross, the lone returning starter for Charter last season, rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns during the Lightning Bolts’ 2-8 campaign. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder had “at least eight” scores of 20 yards or longer. Big plays, Rice said, are a trademark of Ross’ game.

“There was a play last year, when he was a sophomore, where we were backed up, I want to say on our 5- or 10-yard line,” Rice said. “He catches a screen pass and he takes it to the house. I mean, it was like other people were standing still, as fast as he was running. He just kind of took off. I got accustomed to seeing that. When he gets in the open field, he’s trouble. There aren’t many people in Delaware that can run with him on the same page.”

Rice said Ross, a 4.0 student, is a versatile athlete who can excel in the spread formation or as the lone back. Rice isn’t sure how Ross will factor in to Maryland’s system, but he’s confident it’s a good fit for both parties.

“Brandon obviously can run. He can also catch and he’s added 15 pounds of muscle this year,” Rice said. “He’s getting bigger. He’s worked extremely hard. Whatever the coaches want to do offensively, I’m sure he can do. ... But he’s definitely a home-run hitter who can put the ball in the end zone every time he touches the ball.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 3:42 PM | | Comments (7)
        

Comments

Doesn't look like he was playing against very good competition; but I guess is Delaware State and Army wanted him, he must be good.

Love that 4.0 average! How many 4-star recruits never actually play because they can't make the grade after all the Signing Day hoopla is over? This guy sounds as if he will be a solid contributor.

To date, UVA football has 5 (of a total of 16)commitments from the state of Maryland. What is going on here?!?!
Comments please!

To date, UVA football has 5 (of a total of 16)commitments from the state of Maryland. What is going on here?!?!
Comments please!

Randy,
Details please! How many were being recruited by Maryland also? Without that info, we can't really comment about the individual kids. I do know that the kid from Damascus; his dad went to UVa also. It makes sense that he would go there too. In fact. I would consider it a coup if he had come to Maryland. As for the rest, why do any kids choose their college? I mean, I love Maryland (heck, look at my screen name) and I want every in-state elite athlete to come to College Park. But these kids go to places where they feel comfortable. Or they want to go away from home. Or any number of reasons. That's why so many kids from other states come TO College Park. We as fans need to stop worrying about the ones our school doesn't get and look forward to watching the ones we do.

My son plays football with Brandon at charter. Brandon is 'real'. As a terps fan, I am very excited to follow Brandon for the next 4 years. Last year was hilarious how many times he blew past everyone on the field to score. Especially when everyone on the other side of the football was looking for his head. Stay tuned, his younger brother is following the same speed and strength path....

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

High school recruiting database
Area high school commitments -- 2009
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Maryland's 2011 football commitments
Maryland's 2010 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2009 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2008 football recruiting class
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