2019 Season Countdown: #8 Josh Ross

2019 Season Countdown: #8 Josh Ross

August 23, 2019
Josh Ross (image via MLive)

Name: Josh Ross
232 lbs.
High school:
Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary’s
Jersey number:
Last year:
I ranked Ross #41 and said he would be a backup WILL linebacker (LINK). He made 61 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 2 pass breakups.
TTB Rating:

Ross had one of the more baffling situations in 2018, which seems to have become the norm at inside linebacker. He started exactly one game, but he ended up #4 on the team in tackles with 61. Meanwhile, the guy who started the other twelve games at WILL (Devin Gil) finished #9 in tackles with 33. Ross also outpaced him in tackles for loss (5.0 to 3.5) and pass breakups (2 to 0). This was reminiscent of Joe Bolden starting over Ben Gedeon.

During the upcoming 2019 season, we should see no such imbalance between Gil and Ross, because both will probably start. Gil will stay at WILL, while Ross moves over to MIKE to fill the shoes of Devin Bush, Jr. There appears to be no question that Ross is the starter, even with former highly touted recruits Jordan Anthony and Cameron McGrone waiting in the wings. Ross isn’t as fast as Bush, but both can bring the lumber and Ross is one of the more technically sound linebackers you’ll find. I would not be surprised to see him in the running for First Team All-Big Ten by season’s end.

Prediction: Starting middle linebacker; 80 tackles, 3.5 sacks


  1. Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Aug 23, 2019 at 10:14 AM

    Ross will be good, as good as any MLB we’ve had not named Bush. What we need is others to make up for the loss – Gill, Anthony, McGrone, VIPER
    These guys need to make up for the lack of push on the interior line

  2. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Aug 23, 2019 at 11:48 AM

    I like the situation at ILB a lot. There is no replacing Bush so that’s beside the point.

    We have a talented junior at MLB who has plenty of experience rising into a full-time gig. We have a solid high floor senior at WLB getting pushed by younger players with more talent and upside. Fall reports there are encouring. There’s even a run-oriented safety in the mix, not out of need, but a desire to find him a meaningful role. Maybe there’s some packages that can use him effectively.

    Hudson and Uche are two of our best players and ILB is the deepest position on the team. DL is thin. I think it’s very very logical to try to play more 3-3-5 personnel in various deployments. Hope to see it – will be fun to watch.

  3. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Aug 23, 2019 at 11:52 AM

    Since it’s Friday before the season kickoff and there’s probably better things to argue about than guesses at what the Gattis offense will look like, Here is my top 10.

    1. Patterson
    2. L. Hill
    3. Hudson
    4. Dwumfour
    5. Ruiz
    6. Metellus
    7. Kemp
    8. Paye
    9. Ross
    10. Bredeson

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Aug 23, 2019 at 11:53 AM

      My most notable disagreement with Thunder:

      Dwumfour. I think putting Jeter in the top 10 instead may end up being the correct call. The questions around Dwumfour are warranted but I put him this high because it’s season-altering if he can play to his potential and deliver interior pass-rush while also holding up on run downs. Same logic that goes for Uche — he’s our best hope for a pass rush and pass rush means so much. We know where the run-stuffing is coming from…

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Aug 23, 2019 at 11:56 AM

      Metellus. I think he’s a really good player and I just don’t trust our safety depth beyond him. Just hoping Hawkins is ready for a bigger role. Even if he is we’ll need 3 safeties if the speculation about nickel corner is correct. Woods seems like just a guy so you’re going to be counting on Hill or another freshman?

      Even if Thomas is back the secondary looks a little wobbly.

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Aug 23, 2019 at 11:58 AM

      Kemp and Paye. Our DL has some guys waiting in the wings but I don’t want to count on them. Jeter is entirely unproven, buzz or no buzz. Villain is tiny and hasn’t play safety. Danna might be the first impact transfer on defense, or he might not be.

      I’m putting the guys at the top of the depth chart who can play multiple positions and who the coaches rave about consistently into the top 10.

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Aug 23, 2019 at 11:59 AM

      This was made before Steuber got hurt. I’d probably bump Ross and Paye down a couple spots now and put Runyan and Mayfield in the top 10.

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