Recruiting & Scouting

Josh Ross, Cody White content with their decision to remain in school and not to enroll early

Football   | Scott Burnstein

Josh Ross, Cody White content with their decision to remain in school and not to enroll early

They decided to buck the trend for buckets.

Big Ten football recruits Josh Ross of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Cody White of Walled Lake Western both decided to stay in high school for their final semester and play basketball, instead of joining an increasing number of prospects who are deciding to graduate early and enroll in college in January. Ross, a 4-star linebacker, signed with Michigan Wednesday and White, a 3-star wide receiver, with Michigan State.

White starts on the wing for Western’s basketball team, Ross is a power forward for St. Mary’s. Both compete in sports in the spring as well. Ross runs track and White, as he did a year ago, plans on competing in both baseball and track and field.

“I love being a student-athlete at St. Mary’s,” Ross said. “I wanted to stay here as long as I could. This is my final chance to play basketball and run track, and I wanted to take advantage. There’s no need to rush the process.”

Last fall Ross (6-2, 220) helped lead St. Mary’s football team to its third consecutive Division 3 title, recording 142 tackles and nine sacks.

St. Mary’s is off to a good start in basketball with an 8-3 record.

St. Mary’s basketball coach Todd Covert is blown away by Ross’ leadership and unselfishness.

“Josh is the most humble athlete I’ve ever been around at St. Mary’s dating back 25 years,” he said. “In a world where so many times it’s all about rankings and noise and hype, all he cares about is his team and his teammates. I honestly think he’ll go down as one of Michigan’s all-time greats."

White (6-3, 175) did it all for Western on the gridiron, excelling at quarterback for the first quarter of the season before moving to split end for the rest of a campaign. He also started in the secondary and punted for a team that reached the Division 2 final.

As a wide receiver he had 42 receptions for 695 yards and eight touchdowns. Western’s basketball team is 10-2, 6-1 and in first place in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association North Division.

“I’m content to be a kid a little bit longer,” White said. “I thought about it, my family and I talked about it, and in the end it was just best to stay here and finish out the year. It’s been a great run so far, I don’t want it to be over. I want to see how it all plays out.”

White’s father, Sheldon White, played cornerback in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and was the organization’s interim general manager in 2015.

“You’re only a teenager once,” Sheldon White said. “I told Cody to enjoy this time of his life, focus on the here and the now, don’t be in a hurry, (and) college will still be there in a few months.”