Justyn Ross surprised many when he committed to Clemson over in-state schools Alabama and Auburn on signing day.
The four-star prospect and No. 1 recruit in the state of Alabama for the class of 2018 had offers from just about every program in the country, and 84 percent of the predictions on the 247Sports crystal ball had Ross staying home and playing for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.
But Ross has dreams of playing in the NFL, and, for him, the decision was simple.
“If you’re a receiver, you go to Clemson,” Ross recently told The State. “It was a big difference in the way Alabama develops receivers and the way Clemson develops receivers, and I had to make a business decision for myself.”
Clemson has 10 receivers on NFL rosters, most notably DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant and Adam Humphries.
All 10 of the receivers played under current receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott.
“I’ve seen the way they develop receivers at my position and at my size, and I feel like I can be the next one,” Ross said.
Alabama has six receivers in the NFL, but only Julio Jones and Amari Cooper have had much success thus far.
“It was hard leaving the state, but I just had to do what was best for myself,” Ross said. “That’s my dream right there, to play in the NFL.”
While Ross believes that he made the decision that was best for him, many fans from the state of Alabama disagreed and voiced their displeasure.
“It was grown men, grown adults on Twitter cussing me out just because I didn’t pick Alabama, which I don’t understand,” Ross said. “I had to turn off my Twitter notifications for two or three days.”
But Ross said the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Hopkins and Watkins and play for Clemson’s coaching staff was too much to pass up.
“It just felt like home every time I was up there,” he said. “The coaching staff made me feel like it’s a second home for me.”