It seems like every day someone is talking about Clemson freshman Justyn Ross.
The young wide receiver from Alabama continues to impress his coaches and teammates as the second-ranked Tigers start preparing for its Sept. 1 season-opener versus Furman.
Whether it is going up for a pass and snagging it out of the air with one hand or catching a slant and taking it to the house, Ross has been “a freak,” as one teammate called him.
“He’s a lot like Mike (Williams). He makes so many great catches that you just kind of forget,” senior wideout Hunter Renfrow said. “I think he does a good job of making us forget about one specific catch.”
There is one catch Ross made in practice a few weeks back that no one has forgotten about. The pass from Trevor Lawrence he went up and caught and hurdled a defender to gain additional yardage, was a SportsCenter Top 10 play. The video went viral on the internet and on all the social media platforms.
“Guys like him don’t come around too often,” linebacker Isaiah Simmons said. “I saw his catch and it went viral. It was on ESPN and everything. I was like ‘I haven’t seen a catch like that since Mike Williams.”
Mike Williams seems to be the one person most everyone compares Ross to, and for good reason. Williams is not afraid to go up and get the football, something he displayed many, many times in his Clemson career.
Of course he is remembered mostly for his performance in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Williams was unstoppable that night. Alabama had no answer for him.
Not only did he go up and get a fourth-quarter touchdown, but he made a huge grab on the game-winning drive to set the Tigers up and got things going for Deshaun Watson and company. He also made a huge catch on the previous drive.
“I do enjoy sharing the characteristics of the best of the best that have come through here,” co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Jeff Scott said. “One of those is a guy that can physically and mentally go play. Just look at the play Mike Williams made in a preseason game this weekend, I remember seeing him make those plays his redshirt junior year.”
Williams went up and took the ball right over the head of the defender in the back of the end zone, while coming down with his feet in bounds and his hands on the football.
“He didn’t always make those plays his sophomore year, there is a transition and a transformation that has to take place to become more physical,” Scott said. “I think that is where Tee (Higgins) is and where Diondre Overton is at.”
As Scott said, it just isn’t Ross. Higgins can make the same plays, as can Overton, who also has the ability to run away from defenders.
“People like (Ross) don’t come around too often, guys like him and Tee (Higgins). To have two of them? That’s just scary, it doesn’t matter who comes in first string, second string, third they are all going to be a problem.”
And it is a problem the Tigers don’t mind bragging about.