Ross: "I feel much better mentally and physically."

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John Ross III is already the most accomplished kick returner in Washington football history, with three long returns for touchdowns among his highlight reel.

His long-awaited return from two knee injuries is finally about to be over.

It’s been 20 months since Ross last laced up his cleats for a UW game, and he understandably doesn’t want to wait any longer.

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To that end, he would prefer to see the 14th-ranked Huskies take an early loss Saturday morning against Rutgers in their season opener at Husky Stadium.

“I definitely hope we lose the coin toss,” Ross said, smiling.

Traditionally, when UW wins the coin toss before the game, coach Chris Petersen almost always defers possession to the second half, meaning he would rather the huskies kick the ball off to the opponent to start the game.

Ross isn’t sure he can wait until the second half for a chance to return a kickoff.

“It’s hard to sleep. I’m just really excited,” the junior receiver said Wednesday.

After missing all of the 2015 season while recovering from two knee injuries, Ross says he’s faster and better than ever this season, and he’s eager to prove it.

“Just with our trainers, they helped me get much better,” said Ross, who split time between receiver and defensive back in 2013 and ’14. “(New receiver coach) Bush Hamdan does get a great job transitioning back from defense to offense. I feel much better mentally and physically.”

Ross enters Saturday’s opener against Rutgers (11 a.m., Pac-12 Network) as the most prolific kick returner in UW history, with a school-record 1,637 yards on 68 returns. He has returned three career kickoffs for touchdowns — on returns of 100, 100 and 96 yards — and had three more kick-return TDs nullified by penalty in 2014.

He isn’t UW’s only dangerous returner.

Redshirt freshman cornerback Austin Joyner, the former Marysville-Pilchuck High School star, will join Ross deep on kickoffs. Like Ross, Joyner is returning from a torn ACL suffered in September 2015.

“I’m more of a guy who will cut in and out. Austin Joyner will cut and you — and run through you,” Ross said. “So he’s a guy who, if he gets the ball, you should really watch out for.”