Clemson University

Clemson beats out Alabama, Auburn for one of nation’s top receivers

Clemson’s impressive ability to attract top receivers continued on Wednesday as Justyn Ross chose the Tigers over in-state schools Alabama and Auburn.

The Phenix City, Ala., native announced his decision on ESPN2 during its signing day special.

Why Clemson?

“It just felt like family. It felt like home,” he said. “They made me and my family feel at home.”

Ross also was complimentary of Clemson signee Trevor Lawrence, who is considered one of the best quarterbacks in the class of 2018.

The four-star Ross is rated as the top player in Alabama, the No. 7 receiver in the country and the No. 45 overall prospect in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

Clemson recruiting coordinator Brandon Streeter credits wide receivers coach Jeff Scott and area recruiter Todd Bates for helping the Tigers pull Ross out of Alabama.

“Anytime you grow up in that state, and the success that they’ve had at those two schools, being the number one player in the state and getting pulled to those two schools heavily, it’s a very difficult decision. But I think that says so much about what Jeff and Todd Bates, especially, what those guys did to get this guy,” Streeter said.

“You can’t just go into a state like Alabama and try to recruit the kid … You’ve got to go recruit a lot more people, and that’s what they did, and they did an awesome job of winning over that family.”

Ross took an official visit to Clemson in November and has had the Tigers near the top of his list throughout the recruiting process.

He took official visits to Alabama and Auburn in January before deciding to sign with Clemson. He said he likes what he’s getting in coach Dabo Swinney.

He likes “how down to Earth he is and how involved he is with his players,” Ross said of Swinney. “That means a lot to me. I want to have a great relationship with my head coach.”

Last year, Clemson signed the No. 2 receiver in Tee Higgins and No. 16 receiver in Amari Rodgers. Both players contributed as freshmen.

Clemson lost a pair of receivers early to the NFL draft with Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud leaving after their junior year, so Ross has a chance to be able to contribute immediately.