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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CB Ross waiting in wings

    Cornerback Devin Ross tackles Washington State wide receiver Charles Dillon in Saturdays 48-20 win over the Cougars at Arizona Stadium. The sophomore may see extended playing time after a key interception and an injury to safety Dominic Patrick.
    Cornerback Devin Ross tackles Washington State wide receiver Charles Dillon in Saturday’s 48-20 win over the Cougars at Arizona Stadium. The sophomore may see extended playing time after a key interception and an injury to safety Dominic Patrick.

    Devin Ross is hungry.

    But as long as fellow cornerbacks Wilrey Fontenot and Antoine Cason are healthy, his appetite for more playing time at the position will not be appeased.

    UA head coach Mike Stoops said Monday that Ross might get a start at cornerback this week, meaning Cason would sub for injured safety Dominic Patrick, who will be out for at least the next two weeks with a knee sprain.

    After two days of practice, Cason has yet to take any repetitions at the new position, meaning the team will probably find a temporary replacement safety from within.

    “”Everything’s status quo,”” said defensive coordinator Mark Stoops. “”It’s the same way we’ve been practicing all year. …He hasn’t practiced one snap at safety.””

    Even though nothing has changed yet on the defensive depth chart, Ross, who also moonlights as a kick returner on special teams, has the same attitude he’s always had.

    “”I’ll be ready to get the job done,”” Ross said. “”If coach decides to do that, I’ll be ready…It sounds like a great idea.””

    Ross, a sophomore from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., said he tries to model his play after Cason and Fontenot, who are regarded as two of, if not the best, corners in the Pacific 10 Conference.

    “”He’s got playmaking ability,”” Cason said. “”He can make plays. He can do a lot of things. He’s explosive.

    Any way I can contribute when the coaches ask me to do something, I’m there for it.

    Devin Ross, cornerback

    “”He’s improved a lot, but he needs to improve a little bit more in some areas.””

    Ross got his first collegiate interception in Saturday’s 48-20 win over Washington State, as he picked off a third-down pass by Alex Brink in the second quarter with the Wildcats winning 10-7, fueling another Arizona touchdown.

    He used his returning abilities to return the pick for 24 yards, the team’s longest return of the year.

    “”You look at a guy like Devin Ross and a guy that’s been performing on special teams and been doing a good job when he’s in there playing – we’re talking about getting a way to get him on the field somehow,”” Mark Stoops said. “”We’ll experiment with some things. Nothing’s been set yet.””

    Through the first five games, Ross leads the kickoff team, averaging 23.6 yards per return, good for fourth in the Pac-10.

    With both Fontenot and Cason departing after this year, Ross is in line to inherit a starting position next year.

    “”I see a lot of great things to come with him,”” Fontenot said. “”He’s going to be a great player as long as he keeps his head on straight and just works hard every day at practice.””

    Added Cason: “”He’s a good player for us. He does a lot of things well. He’s a young guy, but we expect him to make plays.””

    Fontenot said that even though he trusts Ross’ playmaking ability, he would prefer to see other safeties fill in for Patrick.

    “”We’ll see how that transpires,”” Fontenot said. “”Hopefully, the safeties that we have right now can step in and play this week, just like they did last year.””

    But for now, Ross still is eager to get more playing time on defense.

    “”I’m very hungry,”” Ross said. “”Any way I can contribute when the coaches ask me to do something, I’m there for it. I’m very hungry to come out and start at corner if I can, if that happens.””

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