To Be the Boss

Wide receiver Fred Ross took some solid strides last fall as he became one of Mississippi State's top passing targets. Ross has taken his game to another level this spring and appears poised to become a super star in Starkville. With a move to the slot receiver position, Ross has put together a tremendous spring.

Mississippi State receivers' Billy Gonzales has been quick to praise the play of Fred Ross in recent weeks. If Ross has heard the good words in the media, it does not appear to have changed his demeanor. The former four star continues to go about his business in a work-a-day manner.

"I feel like I have performed alright, but I still have a lot of things that I want to work on," Ross said after Thursday's practice session. "I had a lot of drops this spring, so this summer I want to get in and fix that on the Juggs machine.

"I want to work on coming in and out of my breaks and I want to keep working to make the tough catches."

Ross understands the value of his off season workouts. #8 has seen the fruits of that labor manifest in the form of a solid connection with his quarterback, Dak Prescott.

"We have a lot of trust in each other," Ross said. "This past off season we were throwing everyday. I am just running my routes and he's doing a good job of getting me the ball. We are going to be working together all summer to get even better."

With two years of college play under his belt, Ross is now really coming into his own. Never short on confidence, the talented wide out believes his best football lies ahead.

"The sky is the limit for me. There is a lot of stuff y'all haven't seen yet," Ross said. "Coming up this season, people should expect to see a lot more from me."

The Bulldogs will need more from Ross this year as the team seeks to replace the production of departed seniors Jameon Lewis and Robert Johnson. Ross explains that the Mississippi State offense has acquired some new weapons with the spring enrollments of three new Dogs.

"These young guys we have are hungry," Ross said "Donald Gray, Deddrick Thomas and Malik Dear all want to get in and they all want to play right away. They all bring something different to the table and they all love to block, that helps out everybody."

After spending two season at split end, Ross is sliding inside to play in the slot. This move is expected to create more mismatches for the offense to exploit. The transition appears to have been fairly seamless for Ross.

"It really hasn't been that difficult," Ross said of the position change. "I have a pretty good grasp on the playbook. Moving to the slot is just another way for me to get the ball in my hands. I just want to be more explosive.

"Me and Coach G are really close and he pushes me everyday. When we're in the meeting room, if he sees something he doesn't like, he is going to tell me about it. I respect him for that."

In addition to his change of alignment in the Bulldog offense, Ross is learning what it means to be an upperclassmen who knows the ropes and is completely healthy.

"Last year, I was a little bit younger," Ross said. "I'm an older guy now and I am a leader. I just have to be there for my young guys. I will be a leader that way.

"I feel great. Coach (Rick) Court does a great job with our training and keeping everybody healthy. I feel stronger, faster and bigger."

Ross has put in a pair of strong showings in each of the Bulldogs' in stadium scrimmages this spring. Heading into Saturday, Ross believes the best is yet to come.

"We really just want to go out there and have fun, because we are playing in front of the fans for the first time in a while. We just want to make plays and give the fans some excitement."

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