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2016 MAC Player Countdown #24: Boise Ross, CB, Buffalo

The Bulls’ corner looks to lead an improving UB defense.

NCAA Football: Nevada at Buffalo Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

There wasn’t a lot of bright spots for Buffalo in 2015, but the play of then-junior cornerback Boise Ross was an exception. Ross led the team with 18 pass break-ups and tied for first on the team with two interceptions last season, and was also a contributor on run downs with 41 tackles. The graduation of Marqus Baker at the other corner means Ross will have to step up on a secondary that returns three starters.

Ross, who was named to the Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List, was a two-star prospect coming out of Plus X on Pennsylvania. Standing at 5’11” and 185 lbs., he’s not the long corner that’s all the rage on college and the NFL but he’s more than capable of holding his own in coverage. He’s made a lot of progress since moving from receiver early in his collegiate career, but he was a promising player on that side of the ball as well his freshman year when he caught 13 balls for 156 yards.

Ross is rated the 40th best CB in this year’s draft class (per NFLDraftScout.com), and a look at his tape below demonstrates why. Against some pretty good competition at Penn State last season, Ross showed the ability to cover well and contest catches. However, his tackling is a concern, as is his ability to get off of receivers’ blocks on running plays and his overall physicality at the position. If he can improve in these areas this season, he could be a premier defender in the MAC.