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Justyn Ross Shocks Alabama, Commits to Clemson

NCAA Football: Clemson at South Carolina Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson has added another jewel to the class of 2018. Alabama WR Justyn Ross shocked a lot of folks in his home state with the decision to commit to Clemson today. The Phoenix City, AL, native chose the Tigers over Auburn and Alabama, though Alabama was the primary competition.

Ross is the 7th ranked WR in the class of 2018 and is a legitimate player. 247 lists him as a 4-star recruit but to some he is a 5 star talent. He’s listed at 6’4” 201 lbs and joins a Clemson WR corps with a ton of tall speedsters. He’s going to get some snaps this year, but Ross is going to have to work to earn that playing time.

This recruitment has been interesting. Clemson had a huge lead for the longest time, big enough that Ross considered committing a long time ago, but Ross wanted to wait until the real signing day and because of that Alabama and Auburn were able to get back into this. It didn’t help Clemson that Ross’ grandma has always favored Alabama.

But this recruiting battle getting close may have helped Clemson. When an in-state star goes against the grain early it can put an unbelievable amount of pressure on him. A close battle reduces that pressure because the in-state, in this case Alabama, folks aren’t as worried. That let’s Dabo and the staff work their magic. In particular it is worth noting that Ross’ high school coach singled out Jeff Scott and Todd Bates for their work. They did a fantastic job recruiting Ross and it paid off.

QT’s Take:

With Trevor Lawrence on your roster, you want to maximize his abilities by stocking the cupboards full of wide receiver talent. This is exactly what Clemson has done with the signing of Ross. Ross gives Clemson another tall wide receiver who can man the ‘9’ position. Clemson struggled with the deep ball and winning some critical jump ball situations this past season, especially in the red zone. Ross gives Clemson another big WR target to go with Overton and Tee Higgins.

Ross’s strength is his size. He has the frame to add additional size, but he is already up to about 200 pounds. He won’t have a hard time physically transitioning to the college game. Ross really excels at stretching the field in high school. He shows plus hands, and plus speed, but mainly ran go routes down the field in Alabama and will need to learn to be a better route runner. One underrated part of his game is his willingness to block. Top 50 player for sure and some services have him higher based on his potential.