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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Washington State safety Tyrese Ross, who missed three games in 2020, enters transfer portal

Tyrese Ross (1), pictured on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at Sacajawea Junior High School in Lewiston, started just one game in 2020.  (TYLER TJOMSLAND)
By Theo Lawson The Spokesman-Review

After appearing in just one game this season and missing three others for reasons that were undisclosed, Washington State safety Tyrese Ross has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

Ross announced his decision to transfer on Twitter late Tuesday afternoon and indicated he’ll be playing elsewhere this fall.

“I would like to thank Washington State University for allowing me the opportunity to compete and grow on and off the football field. Also for allowing me an opportunity to network and meet many great people outside the game of football,” Ross wrote. “I would like to thank the previous coaching staff for recruiting me and challenging me to be the best man and teammate that I could be. Special thanks to my teammates past and present for all the good memories we were able to share together. This was not an easy decision knowing what I am leaving behind but it’s best for my future. I will be entering the transfer portal and transferring this fall. I am forever thankful Washington State University and the opportunity to compete. I wish them the best moving forward.”

Entering the shortened 2020 season, Ross was projected to start at safety for the Cougars, but he didn’t travel with the team to the season opener at Oregon State. Ross started at strong safety in the next game, versus Oregon at Martin Stadium, and was credited with two tackles, but he didn’t travel with the Cougars in the final two games of the season, at USC and Utah.

It was never specified by Ross or WSU’s coaching staff why the safety didn’t travel to Corvallis, Los Angeles or Salt Lake City.

Ross was expected to play an integral in the Cougars’ secondary after an impressive redshirt freshman season that saw him play in all 13 games and record 33 tackles with one tackle for loss and one forced fumble. The Jacksonville, Florida, native, known for his physical style of play, was perhaps best known for a big hit he made on kickoff return during WSU’s 2019 game against Houston.

Mostly out of necessity, the Cougars used multiple combinations at the starting safety spots in 2020. Daniel Isom started every game at free safety, but true freshman walk-on Ayden Hector got a starting nod at strong safety in the opener, then started at USC on Dec. 6. With Hector absent from the season finale after a positive COVID-19 test, another true freshman, Hunter Escorcia, was inserted into the starting lineup at strong safety.

Isom, Hector, Escorcia and Armauni Archie are all expected to return to the team this fall, along with Chad Davis Jr. and Phillip Powell, who didn’t play for the Cougars in 2020.