Huskies’ John Ross taking aim at a 4.3 40-yard dash at NFL combine

Feb 16, 2017, 1:17 PM
John Ross said he played with a torn labrum in his shoulder for most of the 2016 season. (AP)...
John Ross said he played with a torn labrum in his shoulder for most of the 2016 season. (AP)
LISTEN: Huskies WR John Ross on preparing for NFL Draft

It was not even two years ago that John Ross had to sit out the entire 2015 Washington Huskies season while recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL. But as he prepares to enter the NFL, you’d have no idea of that previous injury based on what the lightning-quick wide receiver is hoping to do at the combine later this month: run a 40-yard dash under 4.3 seconds.

“Anything under 4.3 is a goal for anybody who’s fast,” Ross told “Danny, Dave and Moore” on Wednesday. “I know I can. I have a great speed coach and we’ve been working pretty hard and I think each and every week we’ve been progressing, so I think by the time the combine comes we’ll reach our goal.”

Current NFL running back Chris Johnson holds the combine record with a 4.23 40-yard time, and you better believe Ross knows all about it.

“You want to chase after (the record), you want to compete,” Ross said. “Chris Johnson set the standard so you want to go after his time, which will be tough to do, but it’s all in the work.”

While Ross is fully recovered from the ACL injury, evidenced by his 2016 All-American season in which he caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards (26th in the FBS) and 17 touchdowns (tied for third), he has another issue to get fixed before the draft in April. Ross confirmed a report from last week that he will undergo shoulder surgery for an injury he suffered in a win over Stanford in the Huskies’ fifth game of 2016.

“I played on a torn labrum this season. … I didn’t even known it was torn, I found out after the season, but the surgery is upcoming after the combine,” Ross said.

He doesn’t expect the shoulder injury to hurt his draft standing.

“I hope not. Like I said, I played on it and I think I was still pretty productive, so once I get it fixed I think it will be much better.”

Ross, who is being projected by most experts as a first-round selection, has been earning comparisons for a long time to DeSean Jackson, who like Ross is a speedy receiver/return man who hails from Long Beach, Calif. Ross said he and Jackson, who currently plays for Washington, have become close and that Jackson has taken him under his wing.

“Me and DeSean are like family now. I was with him earlier, we worked out together. … (He’s been) showing me how to run the routes better,” Ross said. “So I’m always with him, I’m always talking to him. He’s always in my ear about what I should be doing, what’s positive and all these other things. Just telling me, you know, keep head right and everything’s gonna be OK.”

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Huskies’ John Ross taking aim at a 4.3 40-yard dash at NFL combine