The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Ross is from Prokick Australia in Melbourne, Australia. Ross also played two years with Hawthorn Football Club of the Australian Football League.
“I am honored to announce that I have committed to study and play football at the University of Tennessee on full scholarship,” Ross announced.
Tim Gleeson served as Ross’ coach with Prokick Australia. Gleeson played punter at Wyoming, Santa Barbara City College and Rutgers.
Gleeson discussed Prokick Australia and Ross committing to Tennessee with Vols Wire.
“He’s a gun, most versatile punter I’ve seen,” Gleeson said of Ross. “Tennessee is definitely lucky to have him. It’s been in the works for a while. We had him pencilled in there, on our big board, probably around a year ago. He came in to the program around a year back during COVID-19 lockdowns, tricky time of the year as it’s probably just a tad too little time to get him prepared and out as a mid-year January transfer.
“We knew Tennessee had a senior punter, so pushed for a redshirt option behind Paxton (Brooks). His film speaks for itself, pretty incredible. We haven’t worked with (Josh) Heupel or (Mike) Ekeler previously, so this was a big deal for Prokick Australia. We wanted to give them our best guy available and Rossy was the best option, hands down.”
Prokick Australia was developed in 2007 with a mission to train, guide and transition Australian athletes to perform at the college and NFL level.
With a natural Aussie instinct of kicking a ball, Prokick Australia is widely respected in the United States for developing punters and kickers.
“With Prokick Australia, the kids do not do their own recruitment, nor do they know who we share their profile with,” Gleeson said. “No one is lucky to receive an offer — if they get one they accept. You won’t see any of the lads promoting their highlight film online — it’s all done quite discreetly.”
Coaching Jackson Ross
Dylan Moore, Harrison Jones, Jackson Ross and James Worpel of the Hawks hold their new guernsey numbers at the jumper number reveal during a Hawthorn Hawks AFL training session at Waverley Park on December 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Throughout its history, Tennessee has fielded talented punters.
Gleeson believes Tennessee will continue its tradition with Ross.
“Tennessee is, in my opinion, Punter U,” he said. “Some of the best punters have come out of Knoxville. He’ll carry on the tradition, no doubt.”
Ross trained holding field goal attempts and punting under Gleeson.
“We would run field goal simulations under a countdown clock, where 11 players (or sometimes 10) would run out while one of our kickers would kick,” Gleeson said. “It’s obviously a critical part of the game as the holder must keep calm, count players, deal with external noise, communicate with the kicker, and execute the hold.
“Punting-wise, he’s very natural and picked up the spiral punt very quickly. A lot of Aussie rules guys we see have a tendency to create torque with their hips and throw the ball down instead of float it up. It’s a complete different style of kicking to Aussie rules, so we effectively have to eliminate 18 years of muscle memory, but he didn’t really have any (bodily) mechanical floors. To touch on the punting aspect, he will allow coaches to be flexible with their calls. Spirals left and right, roll out spirals, roll out right kick right (high and low), roll right kick left (low). Roll left kick left, right etc.”