Impact Report: John Ross

Here is how we see the loss of John Ross affecting Washington's 2015 season and 2016 recruiting efforts...

Gone For The Season: We all knew that junior wideout John Ross had undergone offseason surgery to repair some meniscus tears in his right knee. He was limited to catching balls from the Jugs machine on the side for the first two weeks, but then began to take part in positional drills on a limited basis in week three. He then re-aggravated the injury during one drill and that appears to be the injury that has felled him for the season.


What It Means: With Ross missing the 2015 football season, the Huskies only return four scholarship receivers with experience -- seniors Jaydon Mickens and Marvin Hall and sophomores Dante Pettis and Brayden Lenius, so you can expect several of the wideouts that signed with Washington in February to play this fall.

Included in that group are Andre Baccellia, Chico McClatcher, Quinten Pounds and Isaiah Renfro.

What set Ross apart from the rest was his speed and big-play abilities. He was clocked at a 4.29 this winter and last season he had seven touchdowns on plays of 91, 20, 55, 75, 86, 100 and 96 yards.

While Mickens is super-quick and he has good speed, he does not possess the elite, top-end speed that Ross does.

Hall's straight-line speed is close to Ross', but that hasn't translated over to the football field where he's had very limited opportunities to be the playmaker many thought he could be when he signed with the Huskies back in 2011.

Both Lenius and Pettis showed some promise as true freshmen last fall and they continued to look the part this spring, however, neither has much in the way of reps at the college level, so they are still unknown quantities at this point.


The Incoming Freshmen: As noted above, there are four players who will enroll at Washington late next month all four could wind up being counted on for extended playing time this fall.

Of that group, McClatcher is the player who seems to have roughly the same skill set as Ross.

The Federal Way product is electric with the ball in his hands and he's got the big-play abilities that make Ross so special.

The problem? McClatcher has never really played receiver. He was a tailback and cornerback at Federal Way, so he'll have some growing pains as he hones his route-running skills.

Pounds and Baccellia both bring similar skills to the table, but the hope had to be that they could redshirt one or both of them. Baccellia missed half of his senior season with an injury, but when he finally got the field in early October he was a big playmaker for Westlake (Ca.) High School.

Pounds is an explosive athlete, who has made a name for himself as a punt and kick returner. Will he be able to come in and be productive as a true receiver right away? Only time will tell.

When Renfro committed to Washington, he looked like a big-time get and many still feel that way, but he'll need some time to adjust to the game, like any freshman.

At 6'1", 185 pounds, one dimension that Renfro adds is the size to be a physical receiver, able to go up and bring passes in with defenders in tight coverage.

It's hard to imagine more than one being able to redshirt this season and there is a decent shot that all of them will be called upon once fall rolls around.


The 2016 Class: The Husky staff had already made receiver a high-priority this spring with offers out to seemingly every top wideout prospect in the West.

Tyler Vaughns, Javon McKinley, Dylan Crawford, N'Keal Harry, Damian Alloway, Steffon McKnight, Simi Fehoko, Dymond Lee and Chase Claypool are just a few of the prospects that Washington has offered at receiver and they are also giving looks to Trevon Sidney, Chase Lucas and DeVaughn Cooper, whom they just offered recently, at the receiver position as well.

Expect the Huskies to sign at least three receivers next February with an outside chance that they take four if they determine Ross will not fully recover from his injury.


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