Name: Josh Ross
Weight: 232 lbs.
High school: Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary’s
Jersey number: #12
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: 79
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