When Clemson recruited Justyn Ross out of Phenix City, Ala., the coaches wanted him because they knew he could be a difference maker on the biggest of stages.
They were right.
Though Clemson fans and those in the ACC knew who Ross was, the rest of the college football world discovered who the 6-foot-4, 210-pound wide receiver was after he embarrassed both Notre Dame’s and Alabama’s secondary in the College Football Playoff.
In the two games combined, the then freshman tallied 12 catches for 301 yards and three touchdowns. His touchdowns were from 52, 42 and 74 yards.
In the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, Ross lit up the Crimson Tide, making two miraculous one-hand catches to go along with his 74-yard touchdown, in which he out ran the entire Alabama secondary to the end zone.
“That was special for him. His family and his coaches back home are so proud,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Jeff Scott said. “It was not that long ago. He was a guy that made a decision last February.”
In case you were wondering, Ross chose Clemson over Alabama. Less than a year later, he caught six passes for 153 yards against his home-state team.
“We talked about a moment like this,” Scott said. “We really felt he could be a different maker for us when we played ‘Bama. For that to happen 11 months later it so special.”
Ross finished the 2018 season fourth on the Clemson team with 46 catches. However, he led the Tigers with 1,000 yards as well as leading the team in average yards per catch (21.7) and average yards per game (66.7). He finished second on the team with nine touchdown receptions.
“The best part about it is he just a freshman so I get him for at least two more years,” Scott said smiling.
Move over Alabama, Clemson is the new King of College Football. In our new magazine “Little Ole Clemson”: The Best “Little” Dynasty Ever, we examine not just the 2018 team’s run to being “the best ever” but examine the last four seasons and how Dabo Swinney turned Clemson into the new dynasty of college football. We also take a look at the role former athletic director Terry Don Phillips played. We go behind the scenes at the Tigers’ run to a second national championship in three seasons and the previous three national championship runs. It also features stories on the Power Rangers, the 2018 senior class, high quality photos and much, much more.
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