For many freshmen transitioning from high school to the college game, the speed of the game ends up being the biggest difference. Due to the superior size and speed of the players in the Pac-12, many of UW’s freshmen are forced to redshirt or play limited roles. A year in the weight room and on the practice field gets them prepared for when they finally get their opportunities on game day. Freshman wide receiver John Ross has proven to Husky fans and coaches the speed difference is no problem, and he is ready to break out during the season’s final stretch.
“I feel like I’m just a spark away,” Ross told reporters after Wednesdays practice. “I’m being patient and I’m waiting, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to break out.”
In Ross’s short career, we have already seen glimpses of his breakaway speed and playmaking. Against Idaho State, Ross caught a screen pass from Cyler Miles, made a few defenders miss and never looked back en route to a 57-yard score. Against California, Ross appeared to have the UW’s first kick return TD since 2009, but it was eventually called back for holding. Earlier in the season, Ross was prone to running east and west on returns, but you can now see that he is focused on being a north/south runner that hits holes decisively. Even though his career has just begun, Ross has already put together an impressive highlight reel. Now, he needs to put together a more consistent finish to the season.
With the injury to Kasen Williams, UW will look to one of its receivers to step up and fill the void. Ross has a primetime opportunity to breakout and become a household name in the Pac-12. Against Colorado, Ross will get plenty of opportunities with the ball in his hands and could easily have a breakout performance much like Jaydon Mickens against Cal. Obviously Colorado isn’t the best of defenses but a strong performance could provide Ross the spark he needs to boost his confidence in the final stretch of the season.
Husky fans are already excited about the future for Ross. With a breakout game against Colorado, Ross can begin to enter the argument as one of the most electrifying players in the Pac-12, provided he builds on the performance at UCLA and Oregon State. Ross’s future will be full of highlight reel plays and touchdowns, but I’m sure Husky fans and coaches wouldn’t mind the future starting this weekend against Colorado.