When Justyn Ross was asked if he was going to be playing in the slot position fulltime in the fall, the Clemson receiver just smiled.
“That’s what it is looking like right now,” he said.
Ross should smile. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound wide receiver knows what lining up in the slot will mean for him and the Tigers in the fall. A lot of miss matches.
“I like it,” he said. “I played the slot a little bit my freshman year. They moved me around a little bit and set me up in the slot, but I feel like it will be a great advantage to me.”
Ross understands where the advantages will come from. He knows lining up in the slot will get him matched up one-on-one at times with linebackers and safeties, matchups he feels like he can win.
“Just having that advantage to go against slow opponents,” he said.
Ross, who missed all of last season due to spinal surgery last June, played in 29 games and started 14 of them across the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He has 112 career receptions for 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns. He is averaging 16.7 yards per catch in his career.
The Phenix City, Ala., native’s best season came as a freshman when he busted onto the scene in college football with his big-play capabilities. He finished his freshman campaign with 46 catches for 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns.
Ross really came on in the College Football Playoff that year when he caught six passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl win over Notre Dame and then six more receptions for 153 yards and another score in the CFP National Championship victory over Alabama.
In 2019, he led Clemson with 66 catches, while recording 865 yards and eight more touchdowns. He was an All-ACC honorable mention selection that season.
With Ross back in the mix this fall, along with Joseph Ngata and Frank Ladson, as well as E.J. Williams and Brannon Spector, the Tigers should have one of the top receiving groups in the country.
“It is just elite. Everybody is working on their own craft,” Ross said. “Some people can’t do what other people can do, so they are working to do what they can. They are working on their craft. I feel like we are going to be a great group.”
Clemson will conclude spring practices on Saturday at Death Valley with the Orange & White Spring Game. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 1 p.m. and will be televised by the ACC Network.