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June 4, 2013Over the last two seasons, only a select group of Scarlet Knights have played as true freshmen. Three of those players came from Don Bosco High School. This summer, Rutgers will welcome another incoming freshman from the Northern New Jersey powerhouse.
Razohnn Gross is the next Bosco product in line to suit up as a Scarlet Knight. He will follow former Bosco players Gary Nova, Leonte Carroo and Darius Hamilton, all of whom played as true freshmen at Rutgers.
"Bosco really gets you ready for the next level," Gross said. "It's all about mental toughness and that's what this place teaches you. I'll be ready for the next stage when it comes. It's harder to break a Bosco guy. We are always tough and we know how to get through things. We've been through ups and downs."
Gross said that he also maintains contact with the contingent of Bosco players who are now at Rutgers.
"I talk to Leonte a lot because he's like my best friend. I talk to Darius and Gary too. They just came up to Bosco a week ago. They were telling me what it was like at Rutgers and about how all the hard work is paying off."
Gross' path is a bit different than that trio of Bosco alum in that he will start his college career as a walk-on hoping to earn a scholarship.
He made his mark on the defensive line at Don Bosco, but lack of depth at fullback at Rutgers could move him over to offense. There, he would have a realistic chance of winning the backup job and seeing the field as a true freshman.
"They're going to evaluate my performance first and see where I can really help the team," Gross said. "I'm all about competing. I'm going in there with an open mind. It's all business on the field."
Gross notched his second consecutive state wrestling title this winter, but has since bumped up in weight after closing out his career on the mat in the 205-pound division.
"I've been working out with my trainer, doing speed, agility and a little bit of everything. I'm up to 230 right now," he said.
Gross has already graduated and will begin taking classes at Rutgers in just a few short weeks. And when he arrives in Piscataway, he will be reunited with yet another familiar face.
RU tight ends coach Anthony Campanile served as Bosco's offensive coordinator during Gross' first three years with the Ironmen.
"Coach Campanile has been an inspiration in my life," Gross said. "We always had a good relationship and he made such an impact in my life. When he decided he was going to Rutgers my senior year, I was really hurt. But that's what was best for him and his family. That's how it goes. But he's excited for me to get up there now."
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