After being one of Clemson football‘s top weapons through 2018 and 2019, Justyn Ross was forced to sit out of the 2020 season. He’s back in 2021, and looking to prove that he’s still a gamebreaker at the college level.
Ross had surgery to fix a congenital fusion in his spine last year. He was born with the condition, but did not realize it until he thought he suffered a neck injury during a practice last spring.
After spending a year in recovery, Ross is back with the Tigers, preparing for a big 2021 season. The team is transitioning from the Trevor Lawrence era to that with D.J. Uiagalelei under center, and Ross should be one of his top targets.
“He looks great and has worked his butt off,” Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott told 247Sports. “I’m hopeful he’ll get everything done protocol-wise and will be with us soon.”
"He has worked his butt off."
— 247Sports (@247Sports) July 20, 2021
Ross was one of Clemson’s most explosive players in 2018, catching 46 passes for 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. He exploded in that season’s College Football Playoff, going for 6/148/2 against Notre Dame in the semifinal at the Cotton Bowl, and 6/153/1 in a dominant National Championship Game win against Alabama.
In 2019, he became more of a possession receiver, catching 66 passes for 865 yards and eight scores.
While he hasn’t been totally cleared to play yet, wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham is optimistic that it will come in time for Week 1.
“When we get word that he’s going to be cleared, he will be ready to go and confident,” Grisham said. “He’ll rep the slot but also boundary and field, you name it. He’s been preparing like he’ll be on the field vs. UGA. We are hopeful and believing everything will come back positive.”
That big game, hopefully the first for Justyn Ross since the end of the 2019 season, comes against Georgia on Sept. 4 in Charlotte.