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March 16, 2011Issac Gross collected 75 tackles and 10 sacks as a junior at South Panola and helped the Tigers repeat as Class 6A state champions in 2010. Naturally, the 6-foot-2 and 240-pound defensive lineman was satisfied with the team success but not so much on his individual play.
"I had a good year but I had over 100 tackles my sophomore year so my stats kinda went down," said the Batesville, Miss., native. "So I am looking to come back and double my stats as a senior. I am working on getting faster, stronger and bigger. I played at tackle last year but the coaches are moving me to defensive end this year because I am getting recruited as a defensive end and outside linebacker. So I am looking forward to that and I feel I come off the edge better anyway."
And speaking of his recruitment, Gross has already gotten his share of big-time offers and owns offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas and Southern Miss.
With family members before him going through the same process, Gross said he's already gotten a good view of the recruiting scene.
"I come from a family of Pegues, Sanfords and Strongs and were all related," said Gross. "So I've been watching those guys all my life and saw them all get recruited by a lot of schools. So I already have a good idea of what I am facing."
Gross has recently attended junior days at Ole Miss and Alabama, and said both trips were good experiences.
"I just went to Alabama's junior day and I've been to Ole Miss, too," said Gross. "Both went real good and I liked both places. I like Alabama's tradition and I loved how Coach (Nick) Saban sat down and talked to me. With Ole Miss, they are close to home, have a good atmosphere and I been there a lot."
Gross added he also wants to see more of another in-state program in the coming weeks.
"I haven't gotten a chance to tour Mississippi State yet and I hope to do that soon," said Gross. "I went to a game there last year and I love the ringing of the cowbells. I talk to Coach (Chris) Wilson some and I like the way he does things on defense. I like the direction he has their defense going in. I am interested in them and I just want to see all these schools and I am looking at everybody."
When that time comes to make his college decision, Gross said a team's defensive outlook will be a top priority.
"It basically depends on a school's defense and seeing what kind of defense they run," said Gross. "I will base my decision on that for the most part. I want to see where a school will put me and see where fit the best. I want to see who thinks I may get bigger and play tackle or see if I work better dropping back to linebacker."