Ideally Coastal Carolina quarterback Alex Ross was hoping to receive a free agent contract offer after not being selected on the final day of the NFL Draft on Saturday, but instead he got the next best thing.
An invite to the Altanta Falcons’ rookie minicamp next weekend and a chance to latch on with the team he rooted for growing up in the state.
Ross said Atlanta and the New York Jets both invited him to their rookie minicamps, and unless a contract offer from another team comes in he is excited to try out for the Falcons.
“I had a couple options and this was the best opportunity for me,” he said by phone Saturday night. “I spoke to their quarterbacks coach and got a feel for the situation and where I would stand down there. I really felt in my gut this was the best decision for me. ...
“And I’m going to down there and prove to their coaching staff why they should keep me.”
Ross set every relevant program record for passing and total offense during his three years as the Chanticleers’ starting quarterback while leading Coastal Carolina to its best three-year run, including No. 1 rankings in the FCS national polls the last two years.
He finished with 9,918 passing yards, 72 touchdowns and 24 interceptions while rushing for 1,564 yards and 19 touchdowns.
After throwing at Coastal Carolina’s pro day on April 1, Ross then showcased himself at the Falcons’ local pro day and clearly made a strong impression during that opportunity.
“I felt like I was the best quarterback down there, and their quarterbacks coach obviously felt like I was the best quarterback down there as well and it was definitely a good opportunity,” he said.
Now it’s up to Ross to prove he deserves to stay around past next weekend.
“This is really exciting. I get to go home back to Atlanta where I initially started playing football and I grew up as a Falcons fan. I’m really excited for this opportunity,” he said. “... So I’ve got to go down there and I’ve got to prove myself.”