The remaining eight members of Clemson’s historic 2018 signing class arrived to campus in late June, joining the group of mid-year enrollees that the Tigers welcomed to the fold in January.
In this feature, TCI takes a fresh look at the eight newcomers and gives a scouting report on what each player does best, how they will fit in and more. In this installment, we look at wide receiver Justyn Ross:
Hometown (High School): Phenix City, Ala. (Central High School)
Height, Weight: 6-4, 205
Prospect ratings/rankings: 5-star, No. 15 national, No. 2 WR, No. 1 state (Rivals); 4-star, No. 74 national, No. 11 WR, No. 1 state (ESPN); 4-star, No. 101 national, No. 15 WR, No. 3 state (247Sports)
High school stats/accolades: Finished his senior year with 37 receptions for 730 yards (19.7 yds per catch) and 13 touchdowns for a 12-1 Central High School team that reached the semifinals of the 7A state playoffs… also contributed with 14 returns for 383 yards (27.4 yards per return) and two punt return scores in 2017, giving him 15 touchdowns for the year…first-team 7A All-State, and finalist for Mr. Football and 7-A Back of the Year in Alabama
Strengths: Ross has the rare combination of great size, speed, athleticism and physicality that is coveted at the receiver position. He has soft hands and has made strides as a route-runner, while he is a smart player who understands the ins and outs of the receiver position. Not only does Ross possess immense talent and play with good technique, but he has an excellent work ethic to boot. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound specimen is an elite playmaker that will present a lot of mismatches and problems for opposing defenses in the future.
How he fits in: Ross is an ideal fit at the 9-man receiver position, the same position that Tee Higgins plays. However, Ross isn’t confined to that spot and could potentially move around in order to get on the field more as a freshman. He comes to Clemson ready-made to contribute from a physical standpoint, and while he will have to work to earn playing time as a freshman in a crowded receiving corps, he has the chance to make an immediate impact. He is a rare talent with NFL potential and appears poised to be a difference-maker for the Tigers in the future. He and Trevor Lawrence should be an exciting tandem to watch in the coming years.
Coach speak: Central High head coach Jamey DuBose on Ross —
“His work ethic is the one thing that a lot of people don’t realize… With the ability that he has, to go work is going to make him even better. I think when he goes to the next level and he can concentrate on a trade and not play multiple sports and do things like that, I think he’s going to be a lot better football player. I think that’s scary in the sense of what he could become.
“I see Jusytn, in three to four years, being in the NFL. I do think he’ll be there. He’s got all the makings for it. He’s got the body, he’s got the mind. He just understands it, and he’s got that what we call ‘it’ factor. I think he can do it, and he’s a very special young man. He’s a very special player, and I’m anxious to see him get to college. Again, it would not shock me to see him make plays next year – and a lot of plays – and I think he’s just going to get bigger and stronger and better as the years progress.”
Hot off the press. ‘Back with a Vengeance’ is now available for online orders. TCI takes an in-depth look at the upcoming season as the Tigers march towards another national championship. Order your copy today!