Call it a blockbuster trade of teammates:
As linebacker Shaq Thompson continues to lead the charge as the Huskies’ newfound featured running back, the Washington offense has offered up its most exciting player to the UW defense.
Yes, John Ross III is again giving defense a try.
Ross, UW’s electric sophomore wide receiver, practiced at cornerback on Monday morning.
“Having John back there is something special,” UW senior linebacker John Timu said.
Ross played as a reserve cornerback in UW’s final three games last season.
The Huskies could use the added depth in defensive secondary; they were already young and thin there before sophomore strong safety Trevor Walker went down with a torn ACL last week. Starting cornerback freshman Jermaine Kelly was lost for the season with a broken ankle in September.
Freshman Dante Pettis, for the first time this season, was listed as a starting receiver, ahead of Ross, in the depth chart UW distributed Monday.
Ross sat out UW’s game against Georgia State in September with a knee injury, and UW coach Chris Petersen said Ross has been “banged up” in recent weeks, too.
The emergence of Pettis has made possible the experiment with Ross on defense. Pettis, a 6-foot, 177-pound freshman, had two catches for a team-best 76 yards against Colorado, including his first career touchdown. He added an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter Saturday.