In 2013, John Ross entered his freshman season at University of Washington as a three-star recruit out of Long Beach, CA, and potential shining star for the then struggling college football program. As a wide receiver and kick returner, John’s first two seasons showed flashes of brilliance, but during the very first spring practice of 2015, he tore his left ACL. In John’s own words, “It’s crazy how you can lose a whole year before it starts. I just took all of it, changed my mentality to positive thoughts, and I got a really great outcome.” Crediting his recovery to a great coaching/training staff, healthy habits, and that positive mentality, he returned to the field for a stellar 2016 season, helping the Huskies improve their 7-6, 2015 season to a 12-2 2016 campaign and make their first College Football Playoff appearance, competing for a National Championship.
For John, competition means excitement. It’s about “not being able to let the person across from me say they are better than me.” In 2016, few were better than John, who recorded 81 receptions, 1150 receiving yards, and 17 touchdowns. Adding to a great season, he exited the 2017 NFL Combine making history after recording a 4.22 40-yard dash.
So, what fuels a future NFL pro whose daily schedule includes treatment, meetings, practice, film, more meetings, and more film? “Eat[ing] three times a day. You want to make sure you eat healthy. Hydration is really important, also sleep. Staying on top of those two things will carry you a long way.”
On April 27, 2017, John’s most recent milestone was reached when he was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals with the #9 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Preparing to play in the NFL, clear goals are not lost on the 21-year-old. “I want to be a Hall of Famer.” Ross adds, “I definitely want to win Super Bowls.” However, his desire to succeed off the field surpasses his on-field victories. “Most importantly, I want to motivate kids. I think that’s what this is also about, not just football. It’s bigger than football.”