Verbally committed to Oklahoma State for nearly a year, Tyler, Texas, receiver Fred Ross decided Mississippi State was the better fit for him, changing his commitment Tuesday, the night before National Signing Day.
Ricklan Holmes, Ross' coach at John Tyler High School, said family and the lure of the Southeastern Conference worked against OSU.
“He has two family members there. One of them is an assistant coach on the women's basketball team, and another is an athletic trainer,” said Holmes, an OSU alum. “He had a really good feeling for the team, and the whole SEC idea really appeals to a lot of kids. Those things had a lot to do with it.”
Despite the connection to Holmes, OSU has had a rough time with recruiting at John Tyler, a program that regularly produces some of the top talent in east Texas. OSU has lost two commitments in the last nine days, both from that school, with defensive end Tyus Bowser remaining committed for just a few days before backing out.
Ross' departure, originally reported by the Clarion-Ledger, leaves OSU with two receivers in the class, Ra'Shaad Samples and Marcell Ateman.
The Cowboys now have 22 verbal commitments, and could look to add another receiver on Wednesday. A year ago, OSU picked up receiver Austin Hays out of San Antonio at the last minute, and he ultimately became a productive freshman receiver this past season with 394 yards and two touchdowns.