Ross readies for another transitionPublished 2:30am Friday, April 26, 2013
Bill Ross is used to transitions. He transitioned from a free-wheeling high schooler to straight-laced junior college student to a SWAC standout.
After this weekend he hopes to transition into a professional football player.
“I’m supposed to be a late-round guy, hopefully I do get picked up,” said Ross, a star linebacker at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, bringing a litany of accolades with him. “If I don’t get called, I’m hoping to go the free agent rout. But in reality, I’m hoping for the best.”
Ross, who was a mainstay in the Golden Lions pouncing defense, accounted for a team-leading 127 tackles (70 solo) with seven for loss and five turnovers (three interceptions and two fumble recoveries). He finished the year with 183 return yards.
“We’ve gotten some interest from teams around the league, but you really don’t know what’s going to happen until it happens,” said Tameka Hrobowski-Houston, President of the Southeast Region of KRS3 Sports Management. “I’m very confident that he will get into a camp. I think his primary goal is to get into the league and then grow from there.”
Ross signed with KRS3 after the SWAC Championship Game and immediately flew to Atlanta’s Competitive Edge Sports to begin training for his Pro Day back in Arkansas.
“It was tough, we trained six hours a day until February,” said Ross. “But it was great, I started putting up great numbers and had great results.”
Those results turned into turned heads during his Pro Day workout.
“He did a great job at CES,” said Hrobowski-Houston. “He put on some quality weight and they worked on his feet and get his technique up. His Pro Day workout – with scouts there to see him – confirmed what they had seen on film. And it made some of the other scouts go back and give his films a second look.”
Ross’s workout – with teammates Brandon Thurmond and Jarvis Webb – had a few more scouts in attendance after the show Terron Armstead (predicted to be an early round selection) put on at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“Having my Pro Day the same day Terron had his definitely opened some doors,” said Ross. “It opens the scouts eyes and they realize that Pine Bluff does have some ball players.”
Hrobowski-Houston added that after Ross’s workout, he showed off his skills as a long snapper.
“He did double-duty this season,” said Hrobowski-Houston. “He’s deserving of a shot. He’s a hard worker and he’s multi-talented. That was one of the things that kept the scouts around. At least four stayed and commented about how that was an added bonus.”
She added that with 14 teams there, a report with Ross’s name was generated throughout the league.
“When it’s guys at smaller schools, sometimes they question the level of competition,” said Hrobowski-Houston. “He’s a big fish in a small pond and played like it this season. He has great potential and character and a growing football knowledge; when you’ve got a good kid like Bill, I try to make the scouts more aware that he’s there and available.”
Her honesty is one of the main reasons Ross chose KRS3.
“They’ve given me every opportunity and never bull-crapped me about my chances,” said Ross. “At the end of the year a lot of scouts came at me. And I feel really blessed picking (Hrobowski-Houston and KRS3). Even if I don’t get drafted, lots of free agents are in the hall of fame. (KRS3) has had guys get drafted, sign free agent contracts and go to Canada. I know I picked the right one.”
KRS3 Sports Management is founded on Christian principals, and Hrobowski-Houston said they looked for clients understanding of their talents.
“We try to get guys who are level-headed with good character and a good spiritual base,” she said. “We want to find guys that understand that their talent and opportunity is a blessing and not an entitlement. If you find guys like that, with that mindset, you tend to avoid some of the ‘character issues.’ They understand what’s expected.”
Ross, who graduated Wetumpka in 2009, said he was unsure of what his weekend plans are.
“I may go to Atlanta and be with my agent or I may stay around here,” said Ross. “I will be by a phone and it will be charged.”