Dabo Swinney and Clemson have beaten out Nick Saban and Alabama for the state of Alabama’s top-ranked prospect.
Phenix City (Ala.) Central five-star wide receiver Justyn Ross signed with Clemson on Wednesday afternoon, choosing the Tigers over finalists Alabama and Auburn during a school ceremony. His announcement was televised live by ESPN2.
Ross’s decision comes as a surprise to some who believed Alabama was the favorite to land his services. The Tigers had been considered the team to beat since the summer before the Crimson Tide made a late push after the season, and many thought he would ultimately stay in state to play for Saban.
Instead, Ross is bound for Tiger Town and figures to become a future star at Wide Receiver U.
Ross (6-4, 200) took his first official visit to Clemson in November before going to Alabama and Auburn on consecutive weekends in January, respectively.
Saban used his in-home visit with Ross two weeks ago following his official visit to Alabama. Swinney went in-home with him last Wednesday before Auburn’s Gus Malzahn got the final in-home visit last Friday.
In addition to the aforementioned schools, Ross held offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Southern Cal, Tennessee and others.
As a senior last season, Ross recorded 37 receptions for 730 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also returned 14 punts for 383 yards and two additional scores.
Ross is ranked by Rivals as the No. 1 prospect in Alabama, No. 2 receiver and No. 15 overall prospect in the 2018 class.
Nabbing the No. 1 player in Alabama away from the Crimson Tide, Clemson accomplished a feat not many programs have been able to in the past.
With Ross, Clemson now owns signatures from the No. 1-ranked player in six different states, a first in school history.
Ross becomes the 17th member of Clemson’s 2018 class, joining the 15 players who signed during the early period in December as well as four-star cornerback Mario Goodrich, who also signed with Clemson today.