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Posted on Mon, May 2, 2011 : 4:36 p.m.

James Ross added to the string of linebacker recruits pledged to Michigan

By Rich Rezler

Check “find linebackers” off Brady Hoke’s to-do list.

James Ross, rated the No. 2 middle linebacker in the country by, became the fourth linebacker in the Michigan football team’s eight-member 2012 recruiting class this weekend.

Ross, a senior-to-be at Orchard Lake St. Mary, made an official announcement during an in-studio interview with Sam Webb on his "Michigan Insider" show on WTKA-AM in Ann Arbor.

He becomes the highest-rated member of an incoming linebacker corps that already includes Detroit Cass Tech’s Royce Jenkins-Stone, Clayton (Ohio) Northmont’s Kaleb Ringer and Cincinnati Colerain’s Joe Bolden.

There are currently nine linebackers on the Michigan roster with more than one year of eligibility remaining, which does not include the four incoming linebacker recruits - Frank Clark, Kellen Jones, Desmond Morgan and Antonio Poole.

During his interview with Webb (find audio here), Ross insinuated that Michigan coaches may have reached their set target for linebacker commitments but opened up a scholarship to land him.

“I originally thought they were taking four linebackers, so when that third one came I thought I might have to speed up my process not knowing that that was the last one they were really supposed to take,” he said.

Bolden became linebacker No. 3 last Friday.

Ross, listed at 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, is a four-star recruit according to He reportedly had scholarship offers from most Big Ten schools, Notre Dame, USC and others.



Wed, May 4, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

coach hoke will bring michigan back. . . but to call a decent human being osama bin (a man who murdered thousands of innocent men women and children) is not very intelligent thing to say. . . GO BLUE. . .

1st Down

Wed, May 4, 2011 : 7:08 a.m.

This is how you BUILD a strong football team: Strength up the middle and between the tackles all the way back to safety. Hoke is bulking up on LBs and that is a good thing. He and Mattison know that THIS is Michigan and how you re-build the program to take the Big Ten title. Unlike Osama Bin Rodriguez, who loaded up on smurf slot receivers and a 6-18 BT record.... Hoke and Mattison know that strength up the middle will bring Michigan back to glory.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 5:38 a.m.

I agree with what you said... except "Osama Bin Rodriguez". Little harsh man.

Blu n Tpa

Tue, May 3, 2011 : 2:58 p.m.

By the way, where are all those naysayers who wanted to know when Coach Hoke was going to get players that osu, USC, SEC schools, PSU and other high level football programs wanted? Hey where are you guys? Well I guess that another thing you can cross off your Coach Hoke's "to do" list. Since he can't win games right now, he's doing what he can to help win games later. TiM Go Blue!


Tue, May 3, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

this kid is a BIG pickup. . . usc, nd, msu, osu, neb, to name a few were all recruiting him. great job coach hoke! GO BLUE. . .

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, May 3, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

This is a GREAT get. Good Job, Coach!! Good Night and Good Luck

Blu n Tpa

Tue, May 3, 2011 : noon

Glad to see everyone is on the same page finally. Together for Michigan. What a change in recruiting from the recent past. Michigan is no longer going after the same players as Bowling Green and WVa and these guys have a higher "star" quality. They still have to do it on the field but Coach Hoke and DC Mattison are exactly what defensive players coming out of HS are looking for in their future college coaches. Knowledge and experience to make them the best overall player they can be. Now Coach Hoke and Coach Borges need to balance this class with some highly rated offensive players. Michigan doesn't want to get caught up with just one side of the ball getting all the attention, although this team needs some leveling out. Go where ever you need to to land whatever talent you want for two, three, four seasons down the road. The future is now. TiM Go Blue!


Tue, May 3, 2011 : 5:40 a.m.

Eight scholies already accounted for with months to go before the official recruiting season. This guy Hoke is moving fast - with an eye to making Michigan's turn around happen ASAP. Liking that a lot.


Tue, May 3, 2011 : 1:41 a.m.

You will also LB recruit Bolden from Colerain HS here in Cincy. He is a tough kid from one of the best public school football programs in Ohio. HIs dad is AD at the school and his uncle is head coach. Great pickup for the Wolverines!


Mon, May 2, 2011 : 10:51 p.m.

Brady Hoke apparently loves LB's as much as RR loves slot ninjas. There could be a little more attrition at that spot after school is over for the semester. Hoke and Mattison are pulling in some pretty talented recruits at the position. A few of the fringe guys are probably hearing footsteps behind them already. At any rate, in 2012, the competition at LB is going to be pretty intense.


Mon, May 2, 2011 : 9:57 p.m.

Indicators are pointing in the right direction for the program. The season will help solidify a sense for where things are headed. The W-L record of course, but a hundred other smaller indicators as well -- fundamentals, attitudes, work ethic, playing until the last down, etc., etc.


Mon, May 2, 2011 : 9:14 p.m.

This is a GREAT pickup for Michigan. Ross could be THE top prospect in the state of Michigan this year. He's got a ton of offers from most of the top BCS schools. Listening to him on WTKA this a.m., he's a VERY impressive young man. Very bright and well-spoken. Most of the experts say he has tremendous awareness of the game and could see early playing time. Michigan coaches have clearly seen a great need at linebacker (due to 5 years or so of poor recruiting and attrition). 4 LB's was more than we probably wanted to take, but when 4 Four Star LB's raise their hand and want to play here, Hoke and Mattison will find the room. It may mean we have to be very choosy at other positions otherwise run out of scholarships. But, that's a good problem to have. Welcome Mr. Ross!