Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick John Ross is back with the team for mandatory minicamp after missing the last few weeks due to an NFL rule that prohibited him from being around the facility until his University of Washington class graduated. AP PHOTO

Ross returns to Bengals after earning diploma

John Ross even celebrates fast.

After graduating from the University of Washington on Saturday, the Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick went out for a celebratory meal with his family and was on a plane the next morning, two days ahead of the start of mandatory minicamp.

“As soon as I got my diploma, I was ready to fly as soon as they handed it to me,” said Ross, who earned his degree in American Ethnic Studies. “I was excited to get started.”

Except for rookie camp May 6-8, Ross was not allowed to be around the Bengals facility until after his class graduated due to an NFL rule.

“You look at the playbook all day and study and there was nothing else you want to do than be around football, but you can’t be around your team,” Ross said. “I was still working out at my college, but those guys were busy doing team stuff and I can’t join them. It was definitely frustrating.”

Ross won’t be participating in minicamp as he continues to recover from labrum surgery in March, but he said he’s on track to be ready for training camp.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.