Justyn Ross was a 4-star prospect from Central high school in Phenix City, AL. Caught in the middle of a recruiting battle between Auburn and Alabama, Ross had multiple house visits from coaches on both sides. He ultimately chose Clemson which made him the first top-ranked player from Alabama to go to Clemson. Part of the 2018 receiver class, Ross immediately contributed to the Clemson passing attack as a freshman.
Justyn Ross encountered hyper efficiency his freshman season. He totaled 1,000 yards at 21.7 yards per reception, while only commanding a 14.82% target share. Here’s a list of the players he had more receiving yards than as a freshman: Amari Rodgers, Tee Higgins, and Hunter Renfrow. Ross was second on the team in receiving touchdowns (9), only being outpaced by Higgins (12).
As a sophomore, Justyn Ross shared the field with Amari Rodgers and Tee Higgins for the 2nd year. However, he led the team in receptions (66), while Higgins led the team in receiving yards (1,167). Both Higgins and Ross dwarfed Rodgers production that season. Clemson was a machine that season and it was evident that Ross was a contributing factor to their success. Against Texas A&M, Ross had 7 receptions for 94 yards and a score. In fact, there was never a game that season where Ross had less than 3 receptions.
In the spring of 2020, Justyn Ross suffered a stinger in practice. Upon further medical review, doctors found a rare condition in his vertebrae that required surgery. Doctors performed a congenital fusion which kept him away from football for 18 months. Through rehab and waiting, Ross made his long awaited return in 2021. The 2021 Clemson Tigers took a step back now that Trevor Lawrence was in the NFL. With an immature D.J. Uiagalelei under center, the Tigers lost 3 games including an embarrassing loss against North Carolina State. Despite that, Justyn Ross led the receiving corps in both receptions and receiving yards. Even though the production doesn’t match what he did in 2019, you can largely chalk that up to Clemson having a down year and erratic quarterback play.
Justyn Ross was a UDFA signed by the Kansas City Chiefs following the 2022 NFL Draft. Many speculate that his health was the reason he went undrafted. His health once again sabotaged his career as he had a foot injury that kept him out for the entire 2022 season. Now heading into 2023, the Chiefs have an injured Kadarius Toney, paving the way for Ross to see the field. His upside is that he’s possibly better than Skyy Moore long term based on his natural gifts. Health is the primary red flag.