By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – Fred Ross was the most highly touted of the talented crop of six receivers Mississippi State signed in 2013.
Ross was a Parade All-American and consensus four-star prospect from Tyler, Texas, who flipped his commitment on the eve of national signing day from a year-long pledge to Oklahoma State.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder saw the field immediately, appearing in 11 games for the Bulldogs as a true freshman last fall. Ross hauled in nine passes for 115 yards on the year before breaking his collarbone against Arkansas and missing the final two games.
“I’m healthy,” Ross said after returning this spring. “I’m staying in the training room trying to prevent more injuries. I’m just glad to be back out here.”
Ross’ pedigree of playing in a competitive 4A classification in Texas helped him have an impact right away at MSU. In his final two prep seasons, Ross caught 185 passes for 2,929 yards and scored 45 touchdowns.
But upon arriving in Starkville, Ross had to learn the intricacies of making plays without the ball in his hands.
“Blocking has been the biggest adjustment coming out of high school,” Ross said. “I wasn’t really used to blocking every play but you’ve got to do that at the next level.”
The Bulldogs return all of their wideouts from last season, leaving Ross battling for playing time.
“It’s real competitive out here,” Ross said. “Every day at practice it’s competitive and that’s what we like. We are all pushing each other and making each other go harder.”
Although this is his first spring session, Ross said he feels his knowledge of the offense is more advanced. In the scrimmage this past Saturday, Ross grabbed four balls for 60 yards including a 20-yard touchdown.
“I’m feeling real good,” Ross said. “I know a good bit more of the offense. Dak (Prescott) is more comfortable and everybody is out there for him.”
With Ross about to wrap up his first year at State, he has no regrets about switching his commitment from the Cowboys late in the recruiting process.
“I’m real happy here,” Ross said. “I’ve learned how to work hard. You have to work hard every day here and I feel like I’ve got that in me now.”