Dandy Dozen – Isaac Gross

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Issac Gross among C-L’s Dandy Dozen, July 22, 2011

 By Angie Ledbetter

South Panola High School’s  defensive lineman Issac Gross was named to the 2011 Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen list on Monday. Gross was the sixth player to be named as the Jackson newspaper releases its picks, one a day, until all 12 are announced.

The 6-2, 250 lb. player was the 19th Tiger to be honored in the annual listing, giving South Panola the record for the most Dandy Dozen players in the state.

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As a junior Gross helped lead his team to a 6A state championship and a national championship. He racked up 75 tackles and 10 sacks.

Head Coach Lance Pogue said, “Gross well deserved to make it. In my opinion he is the top defensive lineman in the state. He’s a great kid who comes from a tremendous family.”

Gross and one of his cousins had been looking online every day to see who was picked but on Monday they hadn’t looked. Then came the call from Pogue giving him the news.

 “I wasn’t surprised but it felt good to act like I was,” said Gross. “I’m just really happy that I made it. I’m proud of myself and I told myself a long time ago that I was going to make it. It took me working very hard to make it also.”

“Even though this is a big honor it will not put any more pressure on me,” he continued. “I know people are going to expect more out of me now but me personally, I expect to go out every game giving more than 110 percent. Besides my grades and school work that I’m going to have, I plan to go out and have a spectacular senior season. I also want to lead some younger guys because we have a really young team and I want to be that guy who leads them this year for the team.”

A leader Gross looked up to in his days as a young Tiger was Devin Clark, a standout defensive tackle who did not make the Dandy Dozen list, though Gross thought he should have.

“I remember Devin telling me that it didn’t matter that he didn’t get picked but all he wanted to do was go out, have a great senior season with me and teach me everything that he could,” Gross recalled.  “That’s what Devin did and he taught me how to keep your mind off the press. He taught me all the skills I know now.”