Updating the recruitment of Tavon Ross

jheeter@macon.comFebruary 4, 2014 

LamarBleckley

Bleckley County quarterback Tavon Ross (9) had committed to Missouri but also has offers from Georgia and Miami.

JASON VORHEES — jvorhees@macon.com Buy Photo

Less than 24 hours until National Signing Day, Bleckley County senior Tavon Ross is ready for the recruiting process to be over.

Ross didn’t tip his hand or say very much at all during the hour I spent with him on Monday.

“This is just Tavon,” Bleckley County athletics director Benjy Rogers said. “He’s a shy kid and doesn’t really like all this attention.”

The attention has felt suffocating for the past month.

Ross committed to Missouri on Aug. 28, two days before the start of the 2013 football season. His only other FBS scholarship offers were from Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky.

Ross, a three-year starter at quarterback who added playing safety to his repertoire as a senior, led the Royals to a 9-3 mark in 2013 and the first home playoff win in school history. He led his team to the playoffs three straight seasons and secured the first two home playoff games in school history.

But he also excelled at safety, where he finished with 87 tackles, six interceptions and four defensive touchdowns.

That senior season highlight tape didn’t reach the desks of some schools until late December.

By the time the recruiting dead period ended on Jan. 13, a number of schools were ready to pounce.

Georgia Southern offered first, hoping Ross may reconsider travelling to Missouri.

But then Georgia and Miami offered. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart visited Cochran, and Auburn called.

Ross hasn’t gone many days since Jan. 13 without visiting with a coach or two. He called the past three weeks, “super crazy.”

He visited Georgia and Miami before spending the past weekend at Missouri.

I get the sense that Ross would have stayed in the southeast if one or more of those schools would have offered last summer, but head coach Tracy White said Ross appreciated that Missouri offered a scholarship first.

As I said earlier, the very polite Ross didn’t say much. He lightened up a little when we snapped some photos of him in the school weight room for Wednesday’s newspaper.

He likes to hunt (turkey, duck, hog) and fish -- he'll fish anywhere that has water and fish. He played just about every sport at some point, including baseball, basketball and soccer. He will compete in track and field in the spring.

As far as any "hints" on which way he's leaning, do with this as you will.

I asked how downtown Athens compared with Columbia, but he said he didn't visit downtown Columbia.

He said he didn’t grow up a Georgia fan, although that doesn't seem to matter much in the age of recruits tattooing school names on their body only to sign somewhere else.

He was intrigued by Miami’s offer to play running back. He hasn't played the position since middle school. Miami's offensive coordinator James Coley has family ties to Cochran, according to Rogers.

Both Mark Richt and Miami head coach Al Golden visited Cochran as did Coley and new Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

I’ll have more in Wednesday’s Telegraph and online later today on Macon.com.

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