Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott was quoted last year saying, “They have a whole lot of freakish athletes on their roster, but Justyn Ross is probably the most freakish.”
I think Alabama and Notre Dame would contest to Elliott’s theory. Ross dominated the Irish and the Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff last year. Though he was just a freshman, he caught 12 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns in the two playoff games, including a career-high 153 yards against Alabama in the National Championship Game.
But it just was not the yards and catches that wowed everyone about Ross’ potential, it was the way in which he did it. Against Alabama he caught two passes near the sideline that made everyone wonder “what just happened.”
At 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, Ross made splash plays throughout the season, making big plays against Georgia Tech, Florida State, Louisville, Duke, South Carolina and Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship Game.
He finished the 2018 season with 46 catches for a team-best 1,000 yards and 9 touchdowns. His 21.7-yard per catch average was also a team-best.
As the Tigers get set to start the 2019 season in a few months, some wonder just how good Ross can be at Clemson. In the spring, he became the starter on the field side and can play all three positions at wide receiver if necessary.
Teaming up with fellow receiver Tee Higgins (6-4, 210), Clemson without a doubt has the best pair of starting wide receivers in the country coming back. And with Trevor Lawrence throwing them the football, the Tigers’ are going to be hard to stop. If defenses try and double cover either one of them, the one left in single coverage is going to make the defense pay.
As for Ross, his size and athleticism make him almost unstoppable. He can not only go up and highpoint a football, but he can also run away from defenders. He is almost impossible to cover in man-to-man situations because he is strong and physical enough to separate from most college defensive backs.
Ross has a chance to be every bit as dominate as Deandre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams were in their Clemson careers.
–video courtesy of the ACC Digital Network