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Sooners' Gesture Appreciated by Jenks' Alex Ross

January 31, 2012
By VYPE Oklahoma of VYPE Oklahoma

By Lynn Jacobsen

Injuries and defections decimated Oklahoma’s running back corps in 2011.
As the season concluded, the Sooners coaching staff shook the bushes looking for suitable candidates.

Oklahoma assistant coach Cale Gundy even made a special trip to Jenks High School to let Sooners’ prized recruit Alex Ross know he was the No. 1 running back.

It wasn’t something the Sooners needed to do, but Ross appreciated it.

“It was nice,” Ross said of the gesture. “I understood where they were coming from. They need more than one or two running backs. I love the fact that they came to see me.”

Given the fact that much of Ross’ senior season was cut short with a high ankle sprain and broken collarbone, he appreciated the gesture all the more.

“They didn’t have to come in and see me,” he said. “The fact that they did only re-emphasized to me that I made the right choice.”

Ross, who rushed for more than 1,500 yards his junior season, admits it was difficult being on the sideline in 2011.

“I got to play in the Backyard Bowl,” said Ross, who rushed for more than 130 yards against Union in the Backyard Bowl and finished with nearly 700 rushing yards for the season. “You always want to help your team your senior year. You want to go out with a bang. It was tough, but I tried to involve myself as much as possible from the sidelines.”

It was his teammates that helped him get through the difficult times.
“They reassured me of how much of a help I was,” Ross said. “They were there picking me up.”
Jenks coach Allan Trimble said the fact that Cale Gundy has been so forthcoming with Alex was appreciated.

“Cale has been professional, thorough and very good in his dealings with Alex,” Trimble said. “He’s followed up with the family, our staff and the school’s academic staff. He is very straight forward and thorough in his recruiting.

“Early on, they talked with Alex about signing only one running back. But with the injuries and players leaving, they’ve had to go recruit more.”

Ross has only recently starting running. A member of the Jenks track team, he will compete in the 100 and 200-yard dash and the 4x100 and 4x400 relay events this spring.

“I just now started back running,” he said. “I feel so good right now, I love it. I’m starting over and I’m kind of glad about it. It gives me goal.”
Ross said he plans to join the Sooners in June and attend summer school classes and workouts.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited about the next level of learning. I’ve always enjoyed learning.”

Ross’ style of running is similar to that of former Sooner great Adrian Peterson.
“I like running between the tackles and over guys but if I get to the outside, I’ll run past you.”
Outside of football, Ross said he spends little time talking about the sport. Maybe it has something to do with the injuries his senior year, maybe not.

“I can’t rewind time,” he said. “All I can do is look forward to what lies ahead.”

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