Ross Ready For Fiesta Bowl

Xavier Ross was a team captain at Cedar Hill High School when then-second year head coach Carlos Lynn led the Longhorns to a district championship.

“He had asked me to be a leader for the team,” said Ross, a 2019 Cedar Hill High School Graduate.

Ross, the District 7-6A Division I Defensive Player of the Year in 2018, could have played immediately at a number of smaller colleges, but he chose a perennial Top 25 program in Oklahoma State.

“I like the culture, and everyone was kind to my family and I,” said Ross, whose parents haven’t missed a game – home or away. “This was the best decision for me.”

Ross will keep competing for playing time as Oklahoma State opens the 2022 season on September 3 vs. Central Michigan.

“I just have to keep working, keep going,” said Ross, who has eligibility through the end of the 2024 season. “I have to keep pushing myself at practice and keep waiting for the opportunity. Once I get the opportunity, I’ll let the way I play do the talking.”

On New Year’s Day, Ross – a sophomore redshirt defensive lineman – and the #9 Cowboys (11-2) will face #5 Notre Dame (11-1) in the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

“There’s real good energy around here,” Ross said. “Nothing but positive thoughts and attitudes.”

Unfortunately, Ross won’t get to face former Cedar Hill teammate Avery Davis, a Notre Dame senior wide receiver who caught 27 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns before a season-ending ACL injury last month.

At OSU, Ross is studying Business Management with plans to start his own clothing line.

“I fell in love with clothes as a kid – I’m a big fashion guy,” Ross said.

Oklahoma State has had several highlights this season, including a victory at Texas (32-24) and a signature win in the Bedlam Rival over Oklahoma (37-33), which clinched the Cowboys’ first-ever appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game.

“Winning the Bedlam Game was crazy,” Ross said. “As a little kid, you always dream about stuff like that. T. Boone Pickens Stadium has never been that loud. I took a little moment to take it all in – it was so surreal to me.”

Next season, OSU will visit Baylor (October 1) and TCU (October 15). They will host Texas Tech, which means a reunion about Ross and Red Raiders head coach Joey McGuire, who was the Cedar Hill head coach in 2015 when Ross was called up to the varsity team for the playoffs.