Dayvon Ross Interview
Sr. / Central State University / WR
Updated - 7-22-13
By: Alex Khvatov
Alex Khvatov: What are your measurements (height, weight and forty time)?
Dayvon Ross: I am 6’1, 209 pounds now and I run between a 4.47 and a 4.51.
Alex Khvatov: What has your tough childhood taught you about life?
Dayvon Ross: It is the thing that kept me motivated to keep playing football. I was working at a grocery store for a long time. My mom was going to school. She was trying to better her life as a 42-year old woman. I realized that football is all I had. I wanted to pursue my dream.
Alex Khvatov: When you were coming out of high school, what programs showed interest in you?
Dayvon Ross: UCLA. I was getting a lot of looks from them. I went to their camps. I didn’t qualify. I had classes that were missing from the requirements.
Alex Khvatov: You took the JUCO route after high school, tell us about that experience.
Dayvon Ross: I was hurt for a long time that I didn’t get a chance to play at UCLA. JC is not like UCLA. It broke my heart. I wanted to experience college. Junior college felt like high school all over again. The coach at our junior college cared only about winning and losing. He could care less about a player.
Alex Khvatov: How did you wind up at a Division II program like Central State University?
Dayvon Ross: I went the JUCO route and played first at L.A. Southwest College. Then I transferred to East L.A. community college. Then the University of Virginia appeared. They came to see me at a junior college and they liked me. I was doing well in spring ball. I signed with them. Two weeks after I signed, they told me that ACC conference didn’t accept my online classes. I didn’t get accepted. I stopped talking to a lot of college coaches since I committed to Virginia. I had to do my own recruiting at that time. I wanted to play football. I never thought that I would play in Ohio. I lived all the way in California. I spoke to a lot of coaches on the phone. Every coach talked only about football. Then I talked to head coach E.J. Junior from Central State University. He played at Alabama. He was a Pro Bowler in the NFL. He had a good resume. When we spoke on the phone, he just wanted to talk about academics. We hardly talked about football. I thought that he was rude and only cared about his players going to class. Then I had a conversation with my dad. He told me to go there. He said that this is the man that I should play for. I called him back and said that I wanted to play for his program.
Alex Khvatov: Describe Central State University to us.
Dayvon Ross: It is a Division II school in Ohio. DE Hugh Douglas actually graduated and played here. He went in the first round. He put the school on the map. It was a new experience for me. I was from California and I wasn’t used to the cold. It is a small school. 55% of the students are African Americans. But it is still the biggest school in our area. The fans come out and root for us. They show so much support.
Alex Khvatov: Were you happy with your junior season?
Dayvon Ross: My junior season went well. I missed the first three games of the season. My transcripts didn’t arrive on time. Then I finally got to play. I didn’t lose a beat. I started out well. I had one touchdown and couple of catches during the first game. We were actually a running team in the beginning of the season. Then when our coach saw my ability to catch the ball and outrun the defense, he started running a spread offense.
Alex Khvatov: What are your strengths?
Dayvon Ross: My size, strength, strong hands and speed. I have good speed for my size. I also have the ability to outthink the defender. In high school, I played in the same conference as De’Anthony Thomas, Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. I led the league in catches. I was actually receiver of the year in Ohio. I am working on running better routes. I have been adding different things to my arsenal. I want to get a chance to make an NFL roster after this year. We had meetings with the coaching staff, and they want to get the ball in my hands. My goal is to score 17 touchdowns. I feel that I can do that. I am not an ordinary Division II player.
Alex Khvatov: What areas of your game do you need to improve upon?
Dayvon Ross: Everybody says that it is my speed. You can never be too fast. Everything else is there. I have been working drastically on my speed. I always try to add speed drills to my workouts. I want to run in the low 4.4’s. I dropped a couple of pounds in the off-season. I was 215 pounds last year. I feel better and lighter on my feet.
Alex Khvatov: What have you learned about your team after the spring?
Dayvon Ross: I have learned a lot. We are stronger this year. I have more chemistry with my QB this year. We are moving into a different conference. We will have Tuskegee in our conference. Tuskegee has been undefeated the last three years. We have formed more of a brotherhood with this year’s team.
Alex Khvatov: What are your team and individual goals for this upcoming season?
Dayvon Ross: The goal is to win every game. Even if it doesn’t happen, we want to compete and give it our all. We will give great effort. We will fight in every game like it is our last play. We will work hard and compete with any team. I want to have more catches and more touchdowns. I want to win more than anything.
Alex Khvatov: What is your favorite NFL team?
Dayvon Ross: I love the Packers.
Alex Khvatov: Who is your favorite NFL player?
Dayvon Ross: As of right now, my favorite player is Michael Crabtree. I try to play like him. He is a nice guy. He is different from what people see on the field.
Alex Khvatov: What is the most important trait that a WR should have?
Dayvon Ross: Every receiver should want to catch every ball. You get paid for catching passes. You can be fast or slow, but you have to catch the ball. You should always have that mindset. You need to secure the pass.
Alex Khvatov: What do you enjoy most about college football?
Dayvon Ross: Honestly, I enjoy the crowd. It motivates me. The fans go crazy on the stands. It is an enjoyable thing.
Alex Khvatov: What is your definition of a leader?
Dayvon Ross: I am not big on yelling. I love Ray Lewis. He is a vocal leader. But I like to lead by example. If you can talk and walk the walk, then you can be labeled as a leader. It is a person that can step up and make the big play. People respond to players that can show it on the field. Practice what you preach.
Alex Khvatov: You have a three-year old daughter, how has she changed your outlook on life?
Dayvon Ross: She made me grow up a lot faster. I had to take on responsibility. It is all about her. My little girl comes first. She helps me on the field. I know how to consider other people’s feelings now. Words can hurt people. My daughter cries if I would yell at her. I have to lead by example on the field. She has helped me grow as a man, as a father and as a student athlete. I had no other choice, but to grow up.
Alex Khvatov: What are your hobbies?
Dayvon Ross: I am very religious. I enjoy going to church. It kind of happened overnight. I read my Bible. I learn about God. It is my biggest hobby now.
Alex Khvatov: What do you plan to do with your life after your football career is over?
Dayvon Ross: I study health and recreation. I want to go into that field. I want to work with athletes and help them stay healthy. I want to encourage them. Maybe I will work with kids and be a health teacher.
Dayvon Ross: I am a determined person. I won’t stop at nothing in life. So many people counted me out. I had to go through a lot in order to get to this point. I put football on hold in order to support my kid. I realized that this is what I wanted to do. I realized it the day that I picked up a football when I was seven years old. Now I am in position to set out what I planned to do.
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