PHENIX CITY, Ala. — Auburn freshman cornerback John Broussard received rave reviews during spring practice. It’s likely that Broussard will see the field this fall for the Tigers in some role.
Now picture a 10th grade wide receiver consistently winning one-on-one battles against the SEC cornerback.
That’s what usually happened in Central High School’s practice when Broussard lined up against Justyn Ross, a Class of 2018 four-star wide receiver, according to coach Jamey Dubose.
“Broussard and Justyn would go head-to-head almost every day, and I’m not knocking John when I say this, but Justyn got the better end of the deal a lot of the times,” Dubose told SEC Country. “If Justyn wants to get open and wants to get it done, it’s going to get done.”
Ross is rated as the state of Alabama’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2018. As a sophomore, the 6-foot-3, 185-pounder had 34 receptions, 672 yards and seven touchdowns.
Dubose vividly remembers two of those touchdowns.
“He caught a pass last year against Opelika where he went up for the ball, two guys hit him and he bounced off them and scored a touchdown,” Dubose said. “He caught a slant pass in a game last year, both safeties broke to the middle to hit him and he was able to split them and outrun them to the endzone. As far as receiving the football, there aren’t many better than him. Period.”
There are several SEC schools in the mix for Ross, most notably Alabama and Auburn. With Broussard at Auburn and another teammate of his, 2017 four-star linebacker Markail Benton trending that way, the Tigers may be in good position to land Ross when that time comes. But Ross doesn’t have any favorites right now.
Whichever school lands Ross when he does make a commitment is getting “one of the most athletic kids around,” according to Dubose.
Several college coaches have been by Central to check in on Ross and Benton during the spring evaluation period. Whenever Dubose speaks to these coaches about Ross, a statement seems to always come up.
“Many college coaches have told me that they think he’s a first-round draft choice,” Dubose said. “I don’t think he is even close to his potential yet, and that’s the scariest thing to me. I think he can be better than what he is now.”
Dubose has been in the coaching world for more than 10 years, and he may have not coached a better player than Ross.
“I’m going to tell you this, I’ve been around a lot of great players,” Dubose said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to coach some really exceptional players. Justyn Ross is by far, I don’t know if there’s one better out there, but I would like to see anyone go head-to-head with him and see what they can do.”
Ross is rated as the nation’s No. 12 wide receiver in 2018. Expect that ranking to rise once camp season begins this summer.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.