Pursuing the Dream; Ross awaits NFL draft
“Nate may try to invest too much into his rapping career, which shows much less promise than his future athletic career I must say,” teammate tailback Glen Clinton, senior of Cody, Wyoming, said. “Unlike his rap game, I see little faults with Nate’s integrity and I wish him the best of luck.
“I know that if Nate makes it to the NFL that he wouldn’t let anything in his control take it away from him. He is one of the hardest working and talented teammate I’ve ever been around.
“It is difficult to get the call for anyone, especially coming from a small school, but it is happening more often in D-II lately, and Nate showed he is one of the best in the country these past four years.”
Wide receiver, Nathan Ross, senior of San Diego, wasn’t highly recruited after high school but has made a name for himself at CSC. Chadron State gave him a home in the college football world.
In the 2013 season, Ross scored six receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. He totaled 1137 yards, 598 receiving, and 539 on kick returns.
Ross trained in Oakland, California, from January to April with Marcus Malu of M.A.L.U. Fitness.
“I’ve had to take the long way around to pursue the dream of playing in the NFL,” Ross said.
He trained in Seattle at one of the 14 regional football combines. He said there are about 200-300 people at each regional combine, and from the 14 regionals, about 240 players are asked to participate in the super combine. Ross was one of the 240 at the super combine. At the super combine, there were around 48 receivers, Ross said.
Ross also took part in the NFL Pro Day, which is similar to the combines but more intimate, he said. All of the NFL and CFL teams show up to the combines to watch players, but not all the teams show up to the pro day, which allows for more of an opportunity to be noticed.
So, what’s the next step for Ross on his journey to the NFL?
“I come back here, and I graduate, and I wait for a call,” he said.
Ross said he is willing to play for anyone and anywhere in the NFL. He made the journey from San Diego to Chadron to play and he would be willing to go anywhere else after this.
“After living in Chadron, you can live anywhere,” he said, laughing. “And, it would be cool to play anywhere in the NFL.”
Chadron State and the coaching staff have been great, he said.
“The coaching staff here has instilled a win mentality,” Ross said. “Whether in football, academics, or in anything in life, I feel like I have to do my best because that’s what’s been drilled into me for the past five years. I think Chadron has been great; I’m thankful for them everyday because I wasn’t highly recruited out of high school and they gave me a place to go.”
When asked what his back up plan is if the he doesn’t get a call during the draft, Ross explained that just because he doesn’t get a call during the draft, he could still be invited to play anywhere up to two years from now.
“I can get a call anytime from basically now until up to one maybe even two years and be invited to the team camp,” he said.
The ideal time to get a call though would be from the time of the draft, which runs from May 8-10, up until May 20, Ross said. The people who get a call during the draft may be the ones that have the highest interest and those invited to the camp are the ones who maybe would have been picked had there been more rounds of the draft, Ross said.
But, if not picked for a team, “I’ll go home and get to work,” the recreation sport and management major with a minor in nutrition said.
Ross said that everyone who has believed in him has helped him to get to this point in his life, but specifically, he said his girlfriend, Apolonia Calleja; his teammates; his best friends, Gerald Kemp and the Epenessa family; his coaches, Chris Stein, Darren Hall, Joe McLain, and Head Coach Jay Long; his family; his high school guidance counselor, Ms. Hastings; and God have helped him the most on his journey.
“I know Nate will work as hard as he possibly can to achieve his dream,” another teammate and quarterback, Jonn McLain, junior of Chadron, said. “He is one of the most dedicated people I have ever been around. I think Nate has a shot to make it. He brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to all that he does. I believe in him.”