Ross is coming off an explosive career-high 208-yard performance against California. He needed just six catches. Ross is the Pac-12’s second leading receiver behind Cal’s Chad Hansen with 742 yards on 44 catches (16.9 avg). His 14 touchdowns leads all Pac-12 receivers and is 16 total touchdowns is the most by any player in the conference.
The Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan product has speed to burn even after missing the 2015 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in one knee and a meniscus tear in the other. While he can take the top off a defense, Ross also is capable of making guys miss and turning short passes into big gains for Washington.
Jackson knows he’ll have his hands full.
“He does a lot of things well, especially when he gets the ball in his hands,” Jackson said. “He's one of those guys where he can stop on a dime, run nice routes and that's pretty much what it is on film. You just see a good player out there.”
Facing talented receivers is nothing new for Jackson. USC's top cornerback has been paired up with the opposition’s best wideout for the majority of the year, starting with shutting down Alabama’s Calvin Ridley in the season opener.
“Every week. I'm always looking forward to competition. That's pretty much how I go about myself. It wouldn't be me or it wouldn't be up to my standard, if I didn't want to go up against anybody.”
And every week the Pac-12 represents a new challenge from big receivers like Utah’s Tim Patrick and Arizona State’s N'Keal Harry to speed guys like Ross, Colorado’s Shay Fields and Charles Nelson at Oregon to technicians like Hansen or combination receivers who can do a little bit of everything like Gabe Marks at Washington State and USC’s own JuJu Smith-Schuster.
To Jackson, he feels the conference’s receivers don’t get enough credit for how difficult they can be.
“We have a lot of great receivers in the conference and [Ross] is just one of those guys who has taken it up a notch,” Jackson said. “A lot of people don't understand that the Pac-12 does have a lot of great receivers.”
Watch Adoree' Jackson talks about the impending matchup with No. 4 Washington and speedster John Ross as well as how he has improved this season by specializing on defense rather than playing both ways.
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