2020 Season Countdown: #15 Joshua Ross

2020 Season Countdown: #15 Joshua Ross

September 30, 2020
Joshua Ross

Name: Josh Ross
230 lbs.
High school: 
Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary’s
Redshirt junior
Jersey number: 
Last year: 
I ranked Ross #8 and said he would be a starting linebacker with 80 tackles and 3.5 sacks (LINK). He made 18 tackles in three games.
TTB Rating:

Looking back on the 2019 season, I probably had Ross ranked a little too high. Michigan had some veterans at inside linebacker, and they had a potential star waiting in the wings in Cameron McGrone. When Ross suffered an injury early in the year that wiped out most of his year, McGrone stepped in and made some great plays. He also made some mistakes. McGrone and Jordan Glasgow manned the inside linebacker spots well, and the truth is that the weaknesses of the defense were the defensive tackles and the defensive back depth. Ross could have played the whole year, and it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

This year Ross has more of an opportunity to be a difference-maker, but I still dropped him down to #15. There’s very little linebacker depth after Jordan Anthony entered the transfer portal, Devin Gil transferred to USF, and Glasgow moved on to the NFL. McGrone and Ross are the leaders, and then you have . . . freshmen. While Michigan took a bunch of linebackers in the 2020 class and has a couple good ones, it still could be a difficult time if either guy drops. I expect good things from Ross and hope he lives up to the expectations we had for him last year.

Prediction: Starting WILL linebacker


  1. Comments: 22
    Joined: 8/20/2015
    Sep 30, 2020 at 12:50 PM

    Great write up, but a little confusing. You ranked Josh to high last year and we wound up with more depth than anticipated…this year he gets knocked down a handful of spots, but the depth is clearly not there. I personally agree with him moving down because, full confession, I’m not super high on Ross. I think he is a little better athlete than McCray, but not by much. I hope I’m wrong.

    I did go back and watch some of his play from two years ago, and while he did make a handful of eye-catching plays, I’m not just enthusiastic about him.

    I expect him to start and do well all year, but I also hope to see one or more of the younger guys get some snaps in because of how well they are developing.

    Also…I know Don Brown doesn’t rotate the 2 LBs very much, so chances for young guys are very limited.

    Thoughts? Am I wrong on being “meh” about Ross?

  2. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Sep 30, 2020 at 2:30 PM

    Good post. I think 15-20 is about right for an established starter, particularly with the weird season structure. I don’t see too much upside for a senior who hasn’t really popped out yet and seemingly surpassed by McGrone last year. Depth shouldn’t be a big problem, with Solomon, Velazquez, and Thomas all returning plus the freshman as options. But it’s nice that Ross brings a stabilizing veteran presence and proven performance to the defense.

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