CAMP TONTOZONA, Ariz. — One of the few Arizona State highlights in a thoroughly dismal 56-24 loss to Boise State in last season’s MAACO Bowl Las Vegas was the performance of wide receiver/kick returner Rashad Ross.
Ross returned the second half kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in that game. While it didn’t do much to help the Sun Devils’ chances for victory in the contest, it served as a harbinger of things to come for one of college football’s fastest players.
Fall camp didn’t start out great for the senior from Vallejo, California, but if the last few days at Camp Tontozona are any indication, the Pac-12 had better be aware of #15 in maroon and gold.
Ross was the star of ASU’s camp-ending scrimmage at Camp T., catching 5 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns in an afternoon that featured a lot of offense.
Over the last three days, Ross has been a big play machine, catching a 99-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Kelly Thursday, an 80-yard bomb from Kelly Friday and for good measure Saturday, Ross took a short crossing route over the middle from Kelly and turned that into an 80-yard score.
“When I came to camp, I was doing bad because I had been injured early on, and I was running with the twos,” Ross said. “So I’m just trying to make a statement and whatever opportunity I get, make the best out of it.”
You could say that Ross did just that with his receptions going for an average of 38.6 yards per pop Saturday. Those kinds of numbers will get any coach excited, and you can certainly include ASU’s boss Todd Graham in that category.
“Rashad’s really had an outstanding camp,” Graham said Saturday. “I challenged the receivers when they came down that they needed to improve drastically, and Alonzo (Agwuenu), Ross and Jamal (Miles) all stepped it up.”