JENKS — At the start of last season, Jenks football coach Allan Trimble felt like he had a really good starting running back, and a young, budding star as a backup.
Neither of them was named Alex Ross.
But an injury to starter Zack Langer and an academic issue for another player destroyed the Trojans' depth in the backfield.
So Ross got his chance, going from a quick but undersized defensive end to one of the state's top running back recruits.
A lot of running backs have had a lot of really good seasons at Jenks — guys like Langer, Freddie Carolina, Kejuan Jones, Rocky Calmus and several more.
But none matched the kind of averages Ross put up in his short season.
Ross only carried the ball 122 times for the Trojans last season, but rushed for 1,548 yards (12.7 yards per carry) and 27 touchdowns (one every 4.5 carries).
“No one in Jenks history has done what he did in terms of yards per carry and touchdowns per carry,” Trimble said. “And there have been some good ones.”
As his breakout season continued, recruiting picked up for Ross, who is No. 2 on The Oklahoman's Super 30. And in February, he got a scholarship offer from Oklahoma — the only one he really wanted.
“I was real excited when I got that offer,” said Ross, who committed shortly thereafter. “That's the only school I ever wanted to go to.”
Looking back, Ross doesn't think about what would have happened if he never got the chance to play running back — because he never would have let it come to that.
“Most likely, they would have given me a chance, because I would have just kept asking them,” he said. “Everything happens for a reason.”
Ross spent time on both sides of the ball last year, because the team still needed him at a thin defensive end position. And Trimble wouldn't mind getting him some snaps on defense again this year.
“He has an amazing amount of stamina,” Trimble said. “If I have anything to say about it, he'll be out there on third downs rushing the quarterback. He adds a lot of value to our pass rush.”
Ross has added about 15 pounds since last season, weighing in at 220 pounds and standing just a little shy of 6-foot-2. He doesn't know how much the extra weight will help, but he hopes it does.
“Hopefully it will make a difference,” he said. “I feel like I'm faster.”
Super 30 No. 2: Alex Ross School: Jenks Height: 6-1 Weight: 220 Position: Running back Committed: Oklahoma