Jalen Ross became South Stanly's quarterback earlier than anyone expected. But just before last season began, starter Desi Brown's family transferred to Missouri, and Ross, just a sophomore, was tossed into the starting role.
He performed brilliantly, winding up as both the Rebel Bulls' leading passer (1,365 yards, 16 TDs) and leading rusher (844 yards, 12 TDs).
"Everybody who comes through really likes him," says coach Luke Little. "He's a very accurate passer and he handles the game well. And he's a tough kid as well, as proved by his rushing total."
Add that to his 6-foot-3 frame (he weighs 190 pounds) and you have the makings of an eventual quality college QB. For now, Jalen appears to be a player worth watching closely.
*South Stanly senior Cody Melton, a dominant rusher as a junior, lost all of last season to a broken leg. That, and his 5-foot-7 height, seemed likely to preclude an FBS offer, but the Air Force Academy came in and offered him a full ride.
Melton is a blazer, and the Falcons feel he will be a good fit at wingback in their option offense.
"He's a tough little joker," said Little.
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