Senior Spotlight: First- String- First with Ahman Ross
For some, sports go beyond just the extracurricular activity you decide on as a middle school student. This happens to be true for Ahman Ross and his first steps which led him to a football field at the tender age of five years old.
There are things in life that we are taught to love and then there are things you just fall in love with. This is the linebacker’s reality– it takes well rounded coaching and practice to perfect your passions and Ross had that all figured out from the start.
“Ever since my first football practice I just fell in love with the game,” Ross said. “It’s just always been something that I watched, listened to and paid attention to.”
Ross, like many who start out at a young age, has had the opportunity to experience football full circle. Not new to Florida, he comes from Jacksonville where he spent his high school years attending The Bolles School.
In 2017, the then safety, committed to FAU, joining the Owls football program as a true freshman. Since then, has helped his team win the 2017 and 2019 Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl.
But, the team captain’s story is a prime example of wanting something and going after it. His freshman year he got injured during preseason which caused him to sit out for the remainder of the regular season.
The following year, in 2018, Ross eased his way into the game and finally made his come back in 2019 where he recorded a total of 25 solo tackles [SOLO] and 14 assisted tackles [AST] completing that season with a [TOT] total of 39 tackles.
“I’ve gotten better on the field as far as making strides and in the weight room– on the field as far as playing,” Ross said. “But I really put my focus on my mental aspect of the game.
He is now one of the team captains for the 2021 football season and is considered a leader on and off the field. Since realizing that football is just as much mental as is physical, his approach to the game has changed.
Growing up in a football atmosphere it is almost natural to look to NFL players as influences for an athletes own game. Tim Tebow was that for Ross as he was coming up and it just made it even better that they both come from the same hometown.
“He was just a guy that I followed and loved watching growing up,” Ross said.
The Owls try to keep a “pro-mindset” as if they were already playing in the professional league and this is what helps him to be a leader of his team.
“I just try to approach it as if I were a pro,” Ross said. “We had this thing in 2019 where we had this pro mindset, so we just attack everything as if we were in the pros already,”
He expressed that that is the main goal and objective for some of his teammates, himself included.
“Thinking of it more as a business and not just a game,” Ross said.”We do what we do because we love it and we have fun doing it but if you approach it as a pro you take it a lot more [seriously].
Ross will be spending most of his time on the field, closer to the line of scrimmage as an outside linebacker, but this wasn’t always the position he assumed. He played as a safety before his recent switch to his new position.
This game is a love for Ross including the positive and negative. Times where he may even feel too tired and sore, he’s reminded of his why and that’s where his love for the game kicks in.
“When it gets tough and it gets hard you have to understand that you have a hundred other guys really counting on you to play your part and do your job,” Ross said.
Being reminded of the brotherhood and the closeness with his teammates helps to put things into perspective for him when things get tough.
“Attack the day with a positive mindset coming in ready to work, coming ready to grind and just being thankful for the opportunity to do what we do,” Ross said.