Tyler Grisham keeps coming back to a former wide receiver as a benchmark for Justyn Ross’s impending return.
Clemson’s wide receivers coach didn’t have an exact update for when Ross will be cleared for contact. Instead, he spent Tuesday’s media session lauding the star wideout’s leadership skills and how hard he’s been working to get back into the mix of things.
Grisham has already prepared Ross for some mental hurdles that will likely come across along the way.
This isn’t new territory for Grisham, though.
He experienced a similar pattern of events with former Clemson and current Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams.
Williams fractured his neck, which caused him to miss nearly the entire 2015 season. His first game back was against Auburn on Sept. 3, 2016. He hauled in nine receptions for 174 receiving yards in a 19-13 Clemson victory.
Grisham indicated that Williams “played well.”
“Once you take the first hit, you just move on,” Grisham said. “You play football. From that point on, what’s my alignment, assignment? Just execute. That’s what we’re going to train [Ross] to do this fall camp. He’ll take some hits in fall camp, that’s part of it. I think that’ll be good for him to kind of get that out of him, heading into our first game.
Grisham wants the All-ACC wideout to operate like normal and prepare like he’ll be suited up against Georgia on Sept. 4.
“He’s ready to go,” Grisham said. “I believe when he gets that word that he is cleared. He’s going to be ready to go and be confident and able to help us.”
He’s emphasized that Ross can’t have those negative thoughts going into it.
“If you’re fearful, you’re not going to play to your standards,” Grisham said. “You want to put your best self on tape. If you are fearful about further injuring yourself, you’re just not going to perform.”
The hope is that Ross will come back stronger than before. Grisham expects him to not miss a beat.
“Take that first hit, brush it off and let’s go,” he said.