Ross Hopes Huskies Lose Coin Toss

It's safe to say Washington junior receiver John Ross III is anxious to get back to playing football. So anxious, in fact, he joked Wednesday with reporters that he hopes UW loses the coin toss Saturday against Rutgers so he can get right back to what he does best - make magic with the football in his hands.

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Do you make a case to get the first kickoff? - “I don’t really make a case, but I definitely hope we lose the coin toss and Rutgers kicks the ball. I’m looking forward to that.”

What’s it going to be like to finally get your hands on a football again in live action? - “Excitement. A lot of my family are coming out. I know the fans are going to be going crazy. The team is going to be hyping me up. So I’m really looking forward to it.”

Could this game get here soon enough for you? - “It came by pretty fast. I remember the first day of camp, so it came by pretty fast. But I still can’t wait. It’s hard to sleep. I’m just really excited. I actually…on my phone there’s a screen saver that’s a countdown. I remember when it said 100 days. And now it’s three days. I look at it every single day. It’s like the background of the Rutgers mascot. It just pops up and says, ‘Game Day’.”

Do you feel faster than before? A better player? - “I do. Just what our trainers helped me do much better and our receivers coach, Bush Hamdan - he did a great job of helping me transition back from defensive back to offense. I feel so much better mentally and physically.”

Trey Adams said he’s most looking forward to seeing Austin Joyner returning kicks - “I don’t know if you guys really watched kickoff returns as a unit, but Austin Joyner is a kid who really runs the ball really well and he’s been doing it since high school and he kind of reminds me of myself. Just a stronger runner. He runs downhill. I’m more of a guy who will cut in and out: Austin will cut and run at you and run through you. So he’s a guy who, if he gets the ball, you should really watch out for.”

And Budda and Chico want to do that too - “It’s just whoever coach Pete puts back there. I think whoever out of us four get the ball it’ll be dangerous. You never know, though. With coach Pete it’s always a competition and we’re always working to fight to see who will be back there.”

On this game being more about you guys than Rutgers - “Right. We’re paying attention to all that stuff, the old coaching staff, where they came from. Our coaches are doing a great job of preparing us.”

Do you notice it when teams try and take you out of the offense as part of their game planning? - “Yeah, of course. That’s why I said our coaching staff is great about working around that. We have a lot of things going in - not just for me but for anyone. I feel like I’m not Rutgers’ biggest focus. We’ve got a great running back, a great quarterback and have other great wideouts.”

On Jake and overthrowing you - “Yeah, but I just think that’s one of the things that happens. We’re getting the timing down and it’s getting better every week. It’s gotten better from day one, as it should. And it’s looking good.”

Has he overthrown you on purpose just to show he can? - “Yeah. Before I came back I’m pretty sure he told Cyler or someone that it’s hard to overthrow him. So when we first talked I told him, if you are ever in doubt, just try and overthrow me.”

Anything you remember the most from opening games in the past? - “Maybe the Stanford game when we played here. It was the opening kickoff return and I scored it but they called it back. I just vividly remember every second of that play, because it was like the hype, the emotions that everyone had because they had beaten us the year before. We just wanted to come out and the crowd was really going crazy - so that was amazing.”

Can you hear the crowd when you’re running? - “I can. But it’s weird. The only thing I see is the kicker during kickoff returns. That’s kind of weird. I can hear everything. And if we’re going this way (east), I’m always looking at the big board. Where I come from we don’t have a big board. Our scoreboard’s pretty small but it’s cool to see yourself running on the big board. It helps to see who is behind you or anything. Sometimes I can feel when there’s no one behind me.”

Who are some of the younger guys in the receiving room you’re looking forward to seeing play? - “Every single guy that’s playing: Andre Baccellia, Chico still…just everyone really. The freshmen kids that are playing, it’s going to be good. I’m really excited to see these young guys play. They are tough, they are smart and they have a lot of fun in the scheme so it’s awesome.”

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