"I knew that is was everything I wanted when I went there," the well-spoken Gross said after committing. "The way people greeted me, the atmosphere, I knew that was where I wanted to be. I talked to my coach about it, and he said that I needed to be 100% sure about my decision. I thought about it and decided I was, so I called Coach Holgorsen and told him I was a Mountaineer."
Gross' parents, who traveled with him on other visits to campus, also played a supportive role.
"My parents were very supportive through the whole process," he said. "They supported me on what I decided. They told me it was the biggest decision I would make, and that I needed to be sure, so I talked to them whenever I got a new offer or took a visit. They came with me and were there for me the whole way."
Gross will likely begin his Mountaineer career as a buck, which fits right into his wheelhouse. As an edge pass rusher at Dunbar High School, he racked up 31 sacks as a junior and has 24 this year through ten games. That number figures to increase this week as Dunbar enters the playoffs with a 9-1 record. Although he has been primarily a pass rusher in high school, Gross believes he has the skills to drop into coverage as a linebacker at WVU.
"I don't do a lot of pass coverage here, but I think I have that ability," he explained. "I want to get bigger and stronger to take on tackles in Division 1, but I do drop some in high school, so I know I can do it."
Gross hopes to get to WVU as soon as possible after graduation so he can begin his preparations. He will try to graduate in December, but may not have enough credits to do so, which would push his arrival back to April or May. The good news is that he should have no trouble qualifying, so no matter when he graduates, he should be able to make the move to campus soon after.
Another factor that helped in Gross' recruitment was the presence of Tavon Austin, who also attended Dunbar High School. Gross knew about WVU after following Austin's career, so he had familiarity with West Virginia's program. That extended through last year, when the Mountaineers recruited Deontay McManus, who failed to qualify.
"We have that pipeline," Gross said. "I haven't been on my official visit yet, so he couldn't host me or anything, but I knew about West Virginia and him for a while."
Gross, who currently checks in at six feet, two inches and 215 pounds, plans to major in business or psychology at WVU.