Phil Stambaugh, the head coach of Bangor (Pa.) Pius X High School, says rising junior DuBois Ross has quite the appetite. Not for challenging linemen to eating contests, mind you, but for making his best possible efforts on every single play.
"He's hungry every play, tries to be the best that he can be on every play, not just for himself personally but also for the entire team," Stambaugh said. "He's a great teammate."
Ross has been hungry at camps this summer, too. He recently returned to the Keystone State after competing in the NationalUnderClassmen Combines Top Prospect Camp at Oklahoma with rising sophomore quarterback A.J. Long and A.J.'s father, Ace. Prospects were divided up according to graduating classes, so Ross competed with the juniors. In the 7-on-7 portion of the camp, Ross' team went 5-0 and he was named the MVP in that classification.
"It was great," Ross said of the OU experience. "I got to compete against a lot of guys who had the same caliber of talent as me."
Stambaugh said the exposure that Ross and Long are earning at camps and competitions is "fantastic" and "phenomenal" for Pius X, which is one of the smallest Class A schools in Pennsylvania, with only 70 boys in the high school from grades 9 to 11. Stambaugh noted Pius X' typical graduating class is in the range of 30 to 35 students.
"They (Boise and A.J.) are doing phenomenal things at these camps and helping put Pius X on the map," Stambaugh said. "Just because we're small doesn't mean we can't compete and do things the right way."
Ross has also attended camps in Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, N.Y. and Philadelphia, among others. He's attracting interest from numerous Division-1 programs, including Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Florida State, Miami (FL), Nebraska Oklahoma, Pitt, Rutgers and Wisconsin. Ross does not hold any verbal scholarship offers at this time.
Ross said Pitt's coaching staff has encouraged him to keep in contact, and he said he likes the offensive philosophy of head coach Todd Graham.
"I think it would be a good fit - we run the spread at Pius and Coach Phil likes to pass a lot," Ross said. "Coach Graham runs the spread and likes to pass a lot, too."
One of four Royal backs with at least 200 rushing yards in 2010, Ross was the leading rusher in a Pius X ground game which averaged 159.8 yards per game, registering 582 yards on 86 carries, hauling in 25 passes for 337 yards, and returning 14 combined kickoffs and punts for 190 yards, scoring 19 total touchdowns (14 rushing, four receiving, one punt return). He averaged 6.8 yards per carry, 13.5 yards per reception, 15.5 yards per punt return and 12.8 yards per kickoff return. Defensively, he added 79 tackles (47 solo) and deflected four passes, posting a 20-tackle game in Week 2 against Staten Island (N.Y.) St. Joseph by the Sea High School.
Stambaugh said Ross will see a little more time at wide receiver in 2011, though he will still be used as a rushing threat and also possibly utilized as a quarterback in a single-wing package the Royals have yet to unveil in their offensive arsenal.
Ross said he is "very excited" about seeing more time at wide receiver and says the stakes "are very high."
"The junior year is a very important year, recruiting-wise," Ross said. "I definitely want to do better than I did last year."