Former Central High and current Clemson star receiver Justyn Ross has been selected as a member of the AL.com High School All-Decade football team. Ross was named to the Second Team among those former players from 2010 to 2019.
Ross helped Central to an 11-1 record during his senior season with the Red Devils. He caught 37 passes for 730 yards with 13 touchdowns in that senior campaign. Ross also returned 14 punts for 383 yards with two more touchdowns as a senior.
Ross was ranked as the No. 1 player in Alabama his senior season and the No. 15 player in the nation by Rivals and the No. 2 wide receiver. He was Class 7A Player of the Year and was selected to the All-State team. He was the second top player in the state since 2005 not to sign with Alabama and the first-ever No. 1 player from Alabama to sign with Clemson.
The former Central star is in his second year with Clemson and on Jan. 13 will play for a second national championship. Clemson won the College Football Playoffs title in 2018 with a victory over Alabama, in which Ross posted game-highs in receiving with six catches for 153 yards with a 74-yard touchdown. Ross had 148 yards on six catches with two touchdowns against Notre Dame in the semifinals of the playoffs. His 137 yards in the first half of that game set a Cotton Bowl record. For the playoffs, Ross had 12 catches for 301yards with three touchdowns and earned All-Bowl team honors from the Associated Press and Rivals. He ended 2018 with a team-high 1,000 yards on 46 receptions for 1,000 yards with nine touchdowns. His team will face No. 1 ranked LSU in the 2019 CFP National Championship Game.
The receivers selected for the First Team on the All-Decade squad were Henry Rugs III of R.E. Lee-Montgomery, George Pickens of Hoover, and Kris Abrams-Draine of Spanish Fort. Joining Ross on the Second Team at receiver were T.J. Simmons of Clay-Chalkville and Jaylon Adams of Minor.
Players from teams in Class 7A Region 3 included – in addition to Ross and Ruggs III – Offensive lineman Austin Golson of Prattville (First Team), Linebacker Rashaan Evans of Auburn (First Team), Kicker Sage Ledbetter of Auburn (Second Team), Linebacker Rueben Foster of Auburn (Second Team) and Defensive back Derrick Moncrief of Prattville (Second Team).
Current Auburn University Quarterback Bo Nix, who played at Pinson Valley in high school, was named as a Co-Player of the Decade, along with Kerryon Johnson of Madison Academy, but was not the First or Second team selection at quarterback. Taulia Tagovailoa of Thompson was the First Team quarterback, while Jameis Winston of Hueytown took Second Team honors. Johnson was also not selected to the First or Second team units at running back. The First Team running backs were T.J. Yeldon of Daphne, Asa Martin of Austin, and La Damian Webb of Beauregard. The Second Team backs were Roc Thomas of Oxford, Jalen White of Daleville, and Jamarius Henderson of Dale County.
The Coach of the Decade was Fyffe High School’s Paul Benefield.
To view the entire High School All-Decade football team go to AL.com high school sports. The sports staff of the online news site voted on the team’s membership.