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Clemson Tigers’ Justyn Ross (spine) cleared to play

Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross(8) stretches near head coach Dabo Swinney during Spring practice in Clemson Wednesday, February 26, 2020.

Clemson Football Spring Practice
Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross(8) stretches near head coach Dabo Swinney during Spring practice in Clemson Wednesday, February 26, 2020. Clemson Football Spring Practice

Clemson receiver Justyn Ross has gotten the OK from doctors to return to the Tigers after missing the 2020 season due to spinal surgery.

Ross, from Alabama, will be a valuable asset for first-year starting quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, who is tasked with replacing Heisman Trophy winner Trevor Lawrence.

As a freshman in 2018, Ross led Clemson in receiving yards with 1,000, and the following season led the Tigers with 66 receptions. He caught 17 touchdown passes in two seasons.

“Man, he’s so happy. He’s ecstatic,” coach Dabo Swinney said as he announced Ross’ return.

The receiver must go through COVID-19 protocols before he can take part in practice.

Ross was diagnosed with a congenital spine condition and a bulging disk as he was checked out following a collision with a linebacker in spring practice in 2020. He had the condition since birth but was unaware.

Dr. David Okonkwo, a top neurosurgeon based in Pittsburgh, performed the surgery in June 2020.

“A year ago I didn’t think I would put on pads again,” Ross said on March 31, per The State in South Carolina. “So I’m grateful. I’m taking advantage of every rep I get. … I realize how quick the game could be taken away from me. Like my grandma told me, I put everything in God’s hands and went and did everything the doctors and coaches told me to do. … I will be ready to play any time they tell me.”

–Field Level Media