ODU Recruit Richard Ross Sets Texas Regional Long Jump Record
May 5, 2010
Hirschi's Ross a joy to watch no matter what sport
By Zach Duncan
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
LUBBOCK -- When Hirschi boys track coach Jeff Carr mentioned it to me a couple weeks ago, the comment seemed pretty absurd.
Richard Ross will be playing basketball at Old Dominion next year. Not many Division I hoops prospects sprout out of the Falls.
But surely that's not his third-best sport.
Days like Tuesday at the Region I-3A Track Meet provide Carr's claim with some merit.
Ross set the regional record in the long jump with a 24-1¾, a day after earning gold in the high jump. And what he said after topping his own school record of 23-8 was downright scary.
"I didn't even think it was that great of a jump," said Ross, who only jumped twice so he could save his legs for the relays. "It didn't feel too good. I think I can do a lot better." Keep in mind, Ross is only making his fourth appearance at a track meet this season. Starring on Hirschi's regional finalist basketball team and suffering a couple nagging injuries gave the senior a late start.
Then again, it doesn't take Ross too long to make an impact.
Remember, he caught three touchdown passes in the Huskies' season opener. The Monday after that performance, Baylor, who has ties with Hirschi because of coach Randy Clements, called up Neil Searcy.
Even though he quit football that next week because "it wasn't my thing" Baylor still called again this spring to see if Ross had a change of heart.
"He's a Division I athlete whatever he does," said Searcy, who has reminded Ross that Old Dominion also has a football team. "I told him coming down here that Dez Bryant was the biggest receiver just drafted, and he's 6-3."
Ross isn't planning on playing anything but basketball at Old Dominion. Basketball is his life. It's his passion.
And he's dang good at it.
But it is fun to ponder the impact Ross could make in track and football at the next level. Could he reach 7-4 in the high jump? How many touchdowns would he catch as a speedy 6-7 receiver?
Ross didn't dispute Carr's claim about basketball being his third-best sport either, instead offering a surprising answer.
"It possibly could be third, maybe even fourth," Ross said. "I'm extremely good at baseball. That's probably my second (favorite) next to basketball."
We know one sport in which he's human. Ross recently shot a 141 both days at the district golf tournament.
Still, I'd like to see Ross running down fly balls in center field or digging into the plate at Hoskins Field.
I guess we'll never know. But I do know this.
Guys like Ross -- who is very blessed with an abundance of athleticism but also has a tremendous work ethic -- are enjoyable to watch.
No matter what sport he plays.