"I am very excited," Fred Ross said about the beginning of fall camp. "I haven't been practicing in a while, so I am excited to get back on the field. I'm about 90%. I am getting back to top form. I still have to work on some stuff, but I am about 90%".
Ross returns as the top pass catcher for Coach Billy Gonzales. The Texas native believes that the Mississippi State offense will remain prolific despite the losses of quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver De'Runnya Wilson.
"Very explosive," said Ross as he described the Bulldog offensive prowess. "We have some younger guys who are eager to play and they bring a lot to the table. I can't wait to see how this camp is going to turn out.
"The sky is the limit. We have to work at it during camp and get everything fixed. I don't know exactly how this offense is going to be, but I expect the offense to be good."
The Bulldogs have a tremendous amount of youth joining the ranks of the available options on the receiving end of things. Redshirt freshmen Keith Mixon, Jonnas Spivey and Deddrick Thomas are joined by true frosh Jamal Couch, Osirus Mitchell and Reggie Todd.
When asked who was set for a break out campaign. Ross went with a more seasoned veteran with his answer.
"Donald Gray," Ross said without hesitation. "I think he's going to have a big year."
In order for the 2016 Dawgs to take another positive step up the SEC ladder, they will have to work together to replace the production lost when some talented players left the program through graduation or early declarations for the NFL draft. Ross believes the squad is up to the challenge.
"Consistency is the biggest key," Ross explained. "I don't really know who the quarterback is going to be. I can't wait to see the quarterback battle play out.
"(Keith Mixon) is a pocket rocket. He can score any time he touches it. I can't wait to see him play. A lot of people haven't seen him play and I can't wait. He has big play ability. Him, Donald (Gray) Malik (Dear) and Gabe (Myles). We have a lot of young guys who are ready to step up."
Ross was more than a casual observer during the spring practice sessions. While he was recovering from off season surgery, Ross took the time to aid in the development of those young players who will be counted on this fall.
"I was just trying to tell those guys to stay at it," Ross said. "I didn't want them to get down on themselves. It's football. Bad things are going to happen. You're going to drop a pass. You're going to fumble. You're going to miss a block. I just tried to get them to stay level headed and keep working hard."
In his Bulldog career, Ross has lined up all over the Mississippi State offensive formation. That level of versatility makes the senior a very difficult player to defend. With his ability and willingness to seek out mismatches, Ross is often the passing target of choice.
"It's all just receiver to me," Ross shared. "It's blocking, catching, running after the catch it's all the same thing."
As a three year letter winner for Mississippi State, Ross has played his way into fan favorite status. The 2015 All-SEC performer is fifth in catches and tenth in touchdowns grabs on the All-Time MSU records list. Ross elected to return to Starkville for his senior season rather than enter than 2016 NFL draft.