GoHuskies.com Contributing Writer
SEATTLE - John Ross is now the sole wearer of number 1 for the Huskies. With the graduation of former defensive back, Sean Parker, Ross can be Washington’s one and only on both offense and defense.
The Long Beach, Calif., native has gotten a taste of what the new Petersen era has to offer and he is enjoying spring practice thus far.
“It’s been going really good,” Ross said. “I’m really excited to play for the new coaches and we’re all just really having fun.”
The players are even keeping the very visible starting quarterback competition between sophomore Jeff Lindquist and redshirt freshman Troy Williams light.
“They’re both having fun and we always joke around in the locker room,” Ross said. “Like they always say, ‘I’m going to start,’ ‘I’m going to start,’ and we always just laugh and joke about it, but it’s good to see them both come out and take advantage of the opportunity.”
According to Lindquist, Ross’s great rapport with him on the field is because of how brilliant Ross is at receiving.
“John’s a great kid,” Lindquist said. “He’s really easy to throw to because he’s lightning fast and he makes really good adjustments to throws. He does a good job of running his routes, so he’s a really easy guy to throw to. And I love throwing to him.”
As a true freshman, Ross played in all 13 games and won the Travis Spring Most Outstanding Freshman award for the 2013 season. Ross, listed at wide receiver, was an integral punt and kick returner as well as a cornerback.
He notched 208 yards on 16 receptions and 720 yards on 31 kick returns, including a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Washington’s win over BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco, Calif. This is only the second 100-yard kickoff return in Husky history.
Ross’s freshman performance ranks him fourth for return yards in a season and fifth for kickoff returns in a season.
As a sophomore, Ross is going to be even better.
“I just feel like I can say that I’m a vet now,” Ross said with a laugh. “Now knowing the speed of the game and just having more knowledge of everything – it kind of speeds my process up for me to get on the field and also become more of a leader.”
His second-year goals are humble.
“I just want to get better every day, that’s just my goal,” he said. “I’d like to get on the field more and help my team in the best way possible.”
One of the ways Ross can help the Huskies is playing both sides of the ball.
“Right now we’re working (with) me playing some nickel back, so if I’m blessed with the opportunity, then I’m going to take advantage of it,” said Ross.
As spring practice progresses, head coach Chris Petersen and his assistant coaches will decide if Ross will also play on defense, but either way the sophomore is unfazed by the transition to a new staff and is just excited to hit the field.
“To me, it doesn’t really matter, but we’re blessed with the opportunity to have a brand new coaching staff, so everyone can get new opportunities and just come out and have a good time,” he said.