“Why didn’t I know who you were before you came to camp?” he asked Rose, a question coaching staffs at schools like Maryland and North Carolina have been asking the 6-foot, 175-pound Rose around the camp circuit all summer.
Football Championship Subdivision schools have known Rose for months now, their interest bolstered by a standout showing at the University of Pittsburgh’s prospect camp that had some coaches telling him he was the best player in the camp. FCS schools SUNY-Albany, Bucknell, Duquesne and Robert Morris and FBS schools Ball State, Bowling Green,Ohio and Toledo all offered him before some Football Bowl Subdivision schools knew his name, which wasn’t a bad list of choices for a player who moved to corner just one year ago.
A former safety, quarterback and wide receiver, Rose had the build, quickness, and pure speed to play as a good-sized corner, so the Wolverines coaches moved him before the 2013 season. Rose’s 4.4 40 time coupled with instincts born of years of experience at receiver combined to create a corner with all the tools of a Division I corner.
“If a receiver goes on an inside release, I know what he’s trying to do,” Rose said. “When I see things like that, I kind of know what’s coming because I played the position.”
Though he played well at corner after moving there this season, most FBS coaches filled their boards with top 2015 prospects a few summers ago, long before Rose made the move. But when the Buckeyes, Tar Heels, Terps and others saw him this summer, they started making room on those boards.
Ohio State and North Carolina asked Rose to come back for camps later in the summer. Maryland expressed serious interest, Rose said, as did a handful of other schools.
Palpable confidence is part of the reason Rose has shown so well against some of the country’s better-known prospects despite being a relative newcomer to his position. A guard on Potomac’s Maryland 2A state championship basketball team, Rose’s energy seems to ebb with the spotlight. He knows as a cornerback he’s the last defensive hope in the backfield, the one whose mistakes are magnified and often costly, and full-field sprints and leaps and desperate efforts are often necessary for success.
But he doesn’t mind the responsibility and he loves the one-on-one drills that often end a day at prospect camp, where offers are often earned.
“I feel like I do really well in one-on-ones,” Rose said. “But besides that, when we go through the drills, I make sure I try to finish everything. So I hope that helps me stand out.”
Solid senior season film will likely help Rose move further up boards, as will strong showings at North Carolina and Ohio State later this summer. But while Rose hopes from transform to prospect camp surprise to full-blown top prospect in the coming months, he’s enjoying the ride from camp to camp and all that comes with it — “the time of my life,” as he called it. Particularly exciting was his conversation with Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer.
“It was crazy to be in his office after meeting with him,” Rose said. “It was very exciting for me. He’s a great guy, but he’s about business. He really loves the game, and I can tell.”
Rose heads back to Buckeyes camp later this month.
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