Joel Ross, the 6-foot, 310-pound defensive tackle from Vanderbilt Catholic High School in Houma, La., has six scholarship offers but has not scheduled any official visits yet.
"I got calls on Saturday from Oklahoma State and Ole Miss," Ross said. "Oklahoma State said they are ready to have me take an official visit whenever I want.
"I also got to talk with (assistant) coach Brad Villavaso from Mississippi. He was my old coach at Vanderbilt High School and now he's at Ole Miss," he said. "It's cool to talk with him and he just tells me how much they need me.
"I'm really thinking a lot about Mississippi right now. Their defensive line is all seniors and I could see myself playing there. They were the first school to offer me and have been with me the longest," Ross said. "I like how upbeat they all are and the coaches are really good. I think they'll do really good this year and even on Saturday, they just seemed much improved from last season. They looked like they had more firepower and were flying to the ball better."
He says the Rebels lead slightly over Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Oklahoma and LSU. All of his favorites have offered, except LSU.
"I grew up following LSU, but they haven't really talked about offering me or anything," he said. "They did invite me to the Virginia Tech game (Sept. 8) next week and I think I'm gonna go."
Although he didn’t attend any games on the season's opening Saturday, Ross admits he tried to watch as many as possible. "I didn't really watch the whole Oklahoma State/Georgia game, but from what I saw the d-line looked decent and they said that I'd be able to play early there."
Another school that told Ross he could see some early playing time is Arkansas. "I know they need defensive line help too."
Oklahoma has always impressed Ross. "They are always expected to do well and they always have great players," he said. "I think they'll have a strong season like they always do. I got to meet some of the coaches during the spring and they just seemed liked guys that I could get along with."
Ross played his first game of the season on Friday, Aug. 31 against rival E.B. White. Vanderbilt Catholic won 16-14 on a safety in the end zone. He finished with five tackles and one sack.
He reports a 2.5 core GPA and a 14 ACT, which he is retaking later in September.