Ykili Ross is one of the top players in 2015, and given his ability to play on either side of the ball, many of the nation's top programs are giving him a serious look for their recruiting classes.
Ross is a product of Riverside (Calif.) Polytechnic High School. He is listed as an athlete on most scouting sites, though most project him to play either wide receiver or cornerback at the next level. He already possesses good size at 6'2, 185 pounds, and should continue adding weight to his frame as his senior season of high school ball rolls around.
Ross is a consensus four-star recruit. 247sports rates him highest of any major scouting service, listing him as the No. 78 player in the 2015 class. 247's composite rankings, which takes a player's rankings from a handful of sites and then balances them out, has Ross ranked 184th nationally. Scout has the talented athlete as the 201st-best prospect, and ESPN has him ranked 275th.
Ross has primarily heard from Big 12 and Pac-12 schools so far, including Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA and USC. Fans can follow him on Twitter: @TheRealYK_7.
Scouting by Derrell Warren, West Coast Recruiting Analyst (@yssd):
Ross is a versatile athlete who plays on both sides of the ball for his high school team. Most schools are recruiting the 6’2, 185-pound player on the defensive side as a cornerback, but he also flashes legitimate FBS ability as a wide receiver.
From a defensive perspective, Ross offers plus-level length. This is a trait that not only enables him to match up physically with bigger receivers, it also allows him to disrupt passing windows and challenge throws smaller corners wouldn’t be able to. On tape, he primarily plays off-man coverage. He will have to rep his press technique in order to play to his natural strengths if defense is indeed the route his chooses at the next level. Ross displays loose hips, and this should allow him to mirror releases and transition cleanly out of his backpedal in order to lead vertical routes. Basically, this is the ability of a defender to maintain his cushion and almost in one motion immediately flip his hips and transition up-field upon recognition of a vertical release by the receiver.
Playing receiver, Ross flashes ability. However, he’s not a burner who’ll threaten defenses vertically or tilt coverage. He has pretty good functional speed that appears to be in the high 4.5 to low 4.6s, but most likely won’t be able to simply pull away from college-level defenders in the open field.
Ross has sticky hands. His catch radius exceeds what you would expect even from a 6’2 player based his ability to consistently pluck the ball away from his frame. He does a good job adjusting his frame to position to catch the ball. Even facing tight coverage, he bails out his quarterback with his ability to win on 50/50 throws. This trait should easily translate over to defense, as well.
Ross will have to refine his route running if he plays offense in college. He won’t separate from college defensive backs with sheer athleticism. His strengths reside in his ability after the catch and to make plays in the red zone. He’s an explosive leaper who often is able to reach the apex of his jump before a defender can locate to the ball.