Tuesday, May 15, 2012

James Ross Answers Your Questions

James Ross won't be lonely when he moves to Ann Arbor this summer; in fact, he'll be bringing three of his closest friends with him:

                                                                  West Side Cub brotherhood

Always a West Side Cub and now a Michigan Wolverine, James took a break from working out, hanging out and training to give us his thoughts on several topics and answer a few reader questions.

Living in Ann Arbor:  "I think it's a great place.  It's not too far from my family, but there's enough distance to where they're not going to be in my face every day, so I'll take a break from that.  But it's a nice place, and I like the people there.  And also, everything's real close.  You've got the mall there, and nothing is too far out of reach."

Choosing Michigan:  "The month before [I committed to Michigan] I visited Penn State, and I just wasn't getting the same vibe from there.  It was, of course, before everything came out.  But it just wasn't the same for me; coaches didn't even know who I was.  One of the things my dad told me when I was choosing a school was that I needed to find a good reason for choosing that school over Michigan.  Like, what's the reason for skipping over Michigan?  And playing for the state that you live in and [the team] that you've grown up watching your whole life - it's a big deal.  I'm a family man, and my family's all Michigan fans.  So to make them proud is something I really want to cherish and really want to do."

Getting on the field:  "I'm not the type of player who can just sit out and wait my turn.  I want to compete, and I'm looking to do that with anybody, and I really want to get on the field.  Coach Mattison said that the opportunity will be there; it's just up to me to attack that opportunity and take full advantage of it.  My mindset is that I'm going in, and I'm trying to play. . . . I've been training this off-season, and I think I'm going to be very prepared to come in and make something happen this year."

Playing WILL, playing hockey*:  "All I know right now is that they want to play me at the WILL, so I can be out in space a little bit and be able to come up in the box also.  So it's something that I'm comfortable doing. . . . I really like the position.  You don't get as many big guards running at you, so that's kind of good. . . . I played hockey for a long time, and just being in that fast-paced environment helped, being able to see things.  Hockey is really fast; you have to be able to move, and I think that really translates well to the football field.

Staying quick:  "I'm 6'1'' and 225 lbs. right now, and a lot of criticism I get is because of my size.  But I always like to throw this out there: my favorite two linebackers, Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis, are only 6'1".  I guess this sport has come down to where it's all about size, but I feel that at the end of the day, that doesn't matter.  It's how well you play and perform. . . . I'm pretty sure they [the coaches] don't want me to get too much bigger because then you start taking away from what I'm good at, and that's being quick and finding the ball as fast as possible.  So I guess I'd say 230 or 235 pounds.  But there's no telling where they want me to be.  I haven't really heard.  I feel as if I can be effective at 230 lbs., just 230 solid.  I think I can be as effective as possible at that weight.  Just like in the Draft, I believe it was Lavonte David from Nebraska.  He was only 6'1'' 233lbs.  And I think we've got some of the same playing style."

Mattison motivation:  "The first time I met Coach Mattison, he brought me to his office, and we were watching Ravens film.  He was just pointing out the position that I'm going to be playing.  So just watching film on that, he had me sold right there.  He coached Ray Lewis, and he's one of my favorite players of all time; I really look up to that guy. . . . What [Coach Mattison] tells me to do to be prepared - well, really not too much.  He'll just come up to me every time he sees me and say little things like, "I hope you're the player I really think you are."  He just gives me little hits like that. . . . Oh yeah, he's a funny guy.  Also, I went to his office, and he had his iPod, so I was like, "what kind of songs are you playing on there?" so he turned it on and there was all types of stuff:  Brianna, Lady Gaga, all types of stuff like that.  He was like, "Yeah, my daughter put all that stuff on there."

Meaningful ambitions:  "I have a really good plan for my future.  One of my dreams is to have a program to train kids from about [age] 12 to 17, but there would also be mentoring, too.  And it's more out of Detroit because there are a lot of kids out of Detroit who are very talented but never make it because they take the wrong paths.  So being able to reach their lives while they're young, reach out to that kid early and show him the path that he can take to make it - maybe you can change some lives."

*"King Kong Ross" starts at the 7:30 mark:

14 comments:

  1. Pretty sure he was referring to "Rihanna" on Mattison's IPod

    ReplyDelete
  2. looks like he could make a cameo for Red. Pretty impressive hockey film from 3 years ago. I would love to see him lay a couple dudes out. I think Braden was a hockey player too. That would be one big hockey player. Lets get them both out there. kidding of course.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That sounds like a kid who really has it all together. Impressive interview.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ross sounds like an impressive kid. You can tell nothing is going to stop this kid from getting out on the field.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Did his remarks on hockey (field/rink vision) make sense to anyone else? I'm not sure I've ever heard an analysis quite like that, but it sounded good to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was talking about seeing and reacting quickly.

      Delete
    2. Good God, they'd have to pass a law against James Ross playing hockey now. Somebody could get killed.

      Delete
    3. They did there were alot of broken arms and separated shoulders the kid was solid at 12 years old and knew how to hit.

      Delete
  6. Who thinks Ross is gtting serious playing time or even possibly starting by the end of the year? At his current size and with his instincts and speed I don't see why not he can't surpass everyone in front of him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Physical size means nothing it's desire, drive that kid is all heart every play.

      Delete
  7. James appears to a kid with a strong will, drive, and determination. He is a leader among his peers and James appears to come from good stock. He is well grounded. My prayer is that he succeeds not only on the field but in every area of his life. I believe that James has what it takes to influence young kids right now and make a difference is their lives.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just wanna say that I've been a Michigan fan since 1990 but have just recently started using the internet to familiarize myself with current players and have just in the past six months started following recruiting (starting w/ the 2013 class). And your rankings, interviews, and insights are the best. It's really gotten me caught up on the 2012 class and I can also see the upcurve in recruiting since the RichRod days by looking back at the history you have stored on your site. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anon! I'm glad the site is helpful.

      Delete