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The expectation was that the Arizona secondary would take a hit in 2008 without veterans Antoine Cason and Wilrey Fontenot. Instead, Ross filled the void and earned all-conference honors with 50 tackles, 16 passes broken up and three interceptions in his first season as a starter.
Ross had flashed standout potential, leading the Wildcats with 10 special teams tackles in 2007 and intercepting a pass as a reserve.
Ross was unable to maintain a high level of play as a senior. He finished with solid numbers (74 tackles, 11 passes broken up, one interception) and once again earned a spot on the honorable mention all-conference team. Ross was unable to come up with the big play when it mattered in 2009. A microcosm of his season occurred against Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. Ross was solid in run defense, but dropped two interceptions and gave up a long touchdown.
Scouts will have determine if Ross' struggles were a matter of opponents figuring him out in 2009 or if he went through a slump in his second season as the starter. Quick and more of a reliable tackler than his slight frame would indicate, Ross is a legitimate mid-round prospect with upside.
Read & React: Still developing instincts for the position. Only a two-year starter, but has improved his recognition skills significantly each year. Good anticipation and gets good breaks on the ball. Can be too aggressive and beaten over the top with a good double-move.
Man Coverage: Has become bigger and stronger as a senior. Possesses the upper-body strength and straight-line speed to transition to a man coverage scheme in the NFL. Played off-man coverage at Arizona, but often provided a jam a few yards downfield. Flashes cover corner balance, flexibility and burst. A bit high in his backpedal, but flips his hips fluidly and doesn't lose much speed in his transition. Sneaks a peek into the backfield and will jump short routes. Good straight-line speed, but lacks a significant second gear to recover when he guesses wrong.
Zone Coverage: Has the intelligence and discipline to handle zone responsibilities. Good awareness. Reacts quickly to the pass and is a secure tackler.
Closing/Recovery: Can stick his foot in the ground to quickly close on the ball. Times leaps well to compete for the jump ball. Long arms and quick hands to bat away passes, but allows too many potential interceptions to hit the ground.
Run Support: Willing in run support. Fights through receiver blocks and works to get to the line of scrimmage. Can avoid the oncoming lineman and isn't afraid to take on the bigger ballcarrier. Reliable open-field tackler.
Tackling: Scrappy, wrap-up tackler who breaks down well in space to make the reliable stop. Takes good angles in run support and is willing to throw his body around to make the stop.
Intangibles: Good special teams player. Posted 17 combined tackles as a gunner in 2007-08 and has experience as a kick returner. Can make the first defender miss and has the burst to squeeze through gaps, but lacks the strength to run through tackles and doesn't set up his blocks effectively. Marginal vision as a returner. Only has two years starting experience due to backing up a pair of four-year starters (including first-round pick Antoine Cason) early on and therefore is not yet a finished product.
Ross was selected All-Pac-10 Conference Honorable Mention in 2009. Ross had 74 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1 interception and 11 PBUs.
Was 16th nationally in total passes defended (16) in 2008, ninth among FBS players returning this year… Second-team All-Pacific-10 Conference honors in 2008… Solid job assuming a starting role after a couple of years' apprenticeship duty as a true freshman and sophomore… Total of 36 games under his belt… Potential return man in 2009… Had 50 tackles and a fumble recovery… Season- and career-high 10 tackles at Oregon… Career-best three passes defended against Washington… His pick-six of 21 yards against the No. 25 Golden Bears helped break open a one-point contest in the third quarter.
Led the team with 10 tackles on kick coverage and finished with 16 total, plus returned an interception 24 yards against WSU... Had a sack against NAU on a blitz, and knocked down two passes... Career-best four tackles in NAU game.
Had two kickoff returns for 32 and 31 yards, against Stanford and ASU, respectively… Terrific down-field kick return coverage, with seven tackles… The late commitment of this All-American added more dazzle to the 2006 recruiting class.
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., High School, 2006... U.S. Army All-American – top 78 players at Bowl in Alamodome Jan 7... CaliFlorida All-Star game... PrepStar Dream Team 100 All-American... SuperPrep All-America and All-Farwest for coach Chris Van Dunn... Best in the West first-team honors by the Long Beach Press-Telegram... Los Angeles Times Top Southland DBs preseason watch list... Four-star rating by Scout and Rivals... Rivals’ All-All Star team for bowl games... Ross was named first team all-league on defense and second team all-league on offense... ESPN 150 selection... CSTV Top 100 by Tom Lemming , No. 89 prospect, No. 8 CB.
Four interceptions (55 yards) and 60 tackles his senior year, plus a versatile threat offensively with 10.5 yards per carry (199 yards) and two touchdowns rushing; 19-199 receiving with two scores; two kickoff returns for 124 yards and a 75-yard TD... As a junior at Los Osos High School, he had 34 carries for 334 yards and five touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 93 yards and returned a kick for a touchdown. On defense, he had 44 tackles, two fumble recoveries and one blocked punt for a touchdown... Transferred after 2004 season to Rancho Cucamonga... Track sprinter, with time of 10.95 in 100 meters.
Enrolled for his final high school semester in Agua Fria High School (Coach Kelly Epely) in Avondale, Ariz., where his father lives... Date of birth: May 25, 1988, Los Angeles.