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The Cardinal Countdown: 28 Days Until Kickoff

Four weeks...

USA Today

#28 Terrence Ross

Class: RS Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-1/208

Position: Safety

Hometown: Apoka, FL

Twitter: NA

Thoughts: Terrence has been on quite the roller coaster since arriving at UofL back in 2013. Ross came in with some decent expectations, looking to maybe crack the rotation in his first season either playing in the secondary or getting some special teams looks (return team) but an ACL tear in the fall ended his 2013 season before it even started. Fast forward to 2014 and Ross got a few looks (3 games/4 tackles) while battling through some nagging injuries the whole year but showed some signs of life being part of the kick return team in the Belk Bowl, setting himself up to possibly be a consistent contributor in 2015. Then, January of 2015 Ross ran into some off the field issues (you can google it if you like) and was temporarily suspended from the team, thus putting a damper on his chances to step into a large role last year on special teams, at safety, or being used in nickel packages. At some point last year Ross earned back the right to play and got in the coaches good graces as fall camp approached….then injured his knee once again, and didn’t see the field at all in 2015.

So, here we are with exactly 4 weeks to go before the season. The void Ross could have filled last year was taken by freshman Dee Smith, and now Khane Pass is itching for PT as well, so how does Ross fit into the ‘secondary puzzle’ of 2016? I’m not sure. Terrence was still nursing that knee injury during Spring ball but everything I’ve seen over the summer makes it sound as if he will be available during the fall. Ross has always had the size and speed to compete; it’s just a matter of staying healthy enough to contribute. If I’m placing bets I think Dee Smith, Cannon, and Pass are your backups to JHC and Chucky at safety but I would not be surprised at all to see Ross work his way into the rotation as the season moves along, especially in nickel or dime packages. (Worst case I think he slides into a role on special teams)You always hate to see a player’s impact minimized due to reoccurring health issues so hopefully Ross can get that knee buttoned up and start to make an impact as many expected him to a couple seasons ago.

Sweet Tweet: No twitter for Ross that I could track down so I’ll use this as an opportunity to highlight our recruiting for a moment. Earlier this week the official letter offers went out to our 2017 targets/commits. If you’re on twitter I’m sure you saw one or two floating around, but if not, here is a quick look (recruit’s name removed since he isn’t officially a Card yet)

Pretty sweet. I know I touched on it more last year during the countdown but even with Petrino’s knack for making players overachieve, in my opinion, if we want to compete with the Florida State’s and Clemson’s of the world we need to have at least Top 30 recruiting classes fairly consistently. The strides I’ve seen from the staff, the recruiting coordinators, etc since joining the ACC have all been great improvements, which is encouraging moving forward. I think 2017 will be another solid class following up on the prior three years (45th/32nd/38th per 247sports) but you can see we still have work to do.