2009-Played in 13 games, making one start at strong safety ... 29 tackles included 2.5 tackles for loss (four yards) ... three pass breakups ... season-high six tackles against Wyoming ... two pass breakups with three tackles vs. Louisville ... four tackles against Air Force ... two tackles and a fumble recovery vs. Oregon ... three solo tackles against Cal in the Poinsettia Bowl ... Academic all-MWC.
2008-Played in 12 games, mostly on special teams ... four tackles ... forced a fumble on a kick return by Utah State that led to a Ute touchdown ... two tackles against the Aggies ... Academic all-MWC ... made the Athletic Director's Honor Roll.
2007-Played in 10 games, mostly for special teams ... five tackles included season-high three stops against UCLA ... Academic all-MWC ... made the Athletic Director's Honor Roll.
HIGH SCHOOL: All-league, all-valley and all CIF ... 2006 CIF Division Southern Section Male Athlete of the Year ... recorded 103 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries ... helped Vista Murrieta High School (Calif.) to a 10-0 record and the Southwestern League championship in 2006 ... also lettered in basketball and track ... honor student ... calculus Student of the Month.
PERSONAL: Son of Wanda Taplin and Tyrone and Pauline Ross (stepmother) ... five sisters and two brothers ... enjoys dancing and boxing ... sociology major ... full name is Justin Shaun Taplin-Ross ... born Mar. 26, 1989 in Texas.
Strengths: A physical player who is a former linebacker. Makes quick reads and reacts quick in both the running and passing game. Plays downhill well, getting to the ball carrier in a hurry. Sticks his nose in the pile and can provide a pop on the ball carrier.
Weaknesses: As a former linebacker, Taplin-Ross lacks the speed and coverage skills of an NFL defensive back. Takes poor angles in pursuit. Misses too many tackles. Will be a liability in man coverage, as he lacks good COD skills.
Projection: UDFA who will get a training camp invite, but must make an impact on special teams to stay on either on the active roster or on the team's practice squad."