Justyn Ross is coming off one of the best freshman seasons by a Clemson wide receiver in the program’s history.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound wide receiver caught 46 passes for 1,000 yards while scoring 9 touchdowns in 2018. He averaged 21.7 yards per catch. In the College Football Playoff, he combined to catch 12 passes for 301 yards and 3 touchdowns while helping the Tigers roll past Notre Dame and Alabama to win the national championship.
What’s next for the sophomore as the 2019 season approaches?
“The biggest thing with Justyn is that he needed to clean up some things technically. He needed to get his body a little stronger and where he needed to be, and he has,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “He was in a good spot last year, but I think, endurance wise, he hit a little wall and then he kind of pushed through it and finished well.”
Ross hit the proverbial wall in Game 8 at Florida State when he pulled his hamstring. Like Swinney said, he fought through the injury and did not miss a game. However, for a few weeks his production did take a dip before coming up big against Duke in Game 11.
“He started strong. It’s just a lot. I think his endurance, his mindset and the understanding of the whole year, that is the biggest thing with him,” Swinney continued. “He has worked really hard. He was technically in a really good spot when he got here, but just applying the knowledge that he got from last year.”
The last thing everyone remembers about Ross are the two one-handed catches he made against Alabama in the national championship game. Those were spectacular plays, but as Swinney pointed out, the Phenix City, Alabama native has not arrived just yet.
“He made some great plays, but it’s the things that you did not see, whereas a coach you are like, he is a freshman. We got to be beyond that, things without the ball,” the Clemson coach said.