Justyn Ross, 5-star wide receiver from Phenix City, Alabama (Central High School), is not just one of the top wide receivers in the nation, but he’s one of the top overall players in the 2018 class. That’s great news for the in-state Auburn Tigers, because recently speaking with Chris Kirschner of SEC Country, Ross had some positive thing to say about Gus Malzahn’s bunch.
As it stands, Ross has a top five of Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, and Alabama. Those are all great options for a top wide receiver, but Auburn is appealing to Ross for one very important reason.
Kirschner asked him which school in his top five has the best depth chart.
“Auburn because I think that’s where they are lacking right now,” Ross said. “It does help them a lot because as a receiver you always want to just come in and be able to compete for a spot right away.”
For what it’s worth, Ross has the talent to enroll at Auburn and compete from day one. He’s a tall, lanky, 6-foot-4 wideout who has the speed and size to get major separation from a defender over the top, and his height and long arms make it very easy for him to high-point the football and make big plays. According to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite, he’s the No. 5 wideout nationally and the No. 24 recruit overall. He’s also the top overall player from the state of Alabama, so pulling him away from Alabama, specifically, would be a big recruiting win for Auburn.
It’s not as if the wideout depth chart gives the Tigers a definitive lead, though. Ross seems to be interested in who will throw him the ball at the college level — understandably — and that’s something else he talked about with Kirschner.
“I think all of them have great quarterback situations,” Ross said. “You have (Jarrett) Stidham at Auburn, Tua (Tagovailoa) and Jalen (Hurts) at Alabama. Clemson has a good quarterback coming in with Trevor (Lawrence). Florida State has (Deondre) Francois. All of them have good quarterbacks.”
Ross related that Alabama, Auburn, and Clemson are recruiting him the hardest, and though anything can happen on the recruiting trail, it may be safe to bet that his recruitment ultimately comes down to those three schools.
Both Auburn and Alabama would give him a chance to play close to home. The Crimson Tide are obviously the cream of the crop of the college football world, but he does seem to like Auburn, and the Tigers can offer him the opportunity to come in and be “the guy” from day one. At Alabama, he’d be one of many top players competing for time on the depth chart. Many former five-stars and high four-star recruits have transferred from Alabama in the past due to lack of playing time, but at this point, that problem is a luxury for Nick Saban, isn’t it?
At Clemson, Ross would have a chance to join one of the hottest programs in college football. The Tigers are the defending national champions and even with Deshaun Watson in the NFL, they should still be a CFP contender as long as Dabo Swinney is heading things up. The Tigers have also sent six high-end wideouts to the NFL since 2012, so they have that going for them as well.
Outside of his top five, Ross also has offers from schools such as Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, USC and Tennessee, among others.