Tigers Still On Top For Georgia Lineman

2013 DT James Ellison talks about his two newest offers and what has the Auburn Tigers in the lead.

Hamilton, Ga.—One of the top defensive tackle prospects in the South this year, James Ellison has long been in the spotlight of high-profile teammate Jordan Jenkins but now is his time to shine. With eight offers from top programs and a strong leader at the moment, Ellison said he's excited about how his recruiting is shaping up as the spring football season kicks off.

"Recruiting is going good," the 6-2, 285 Ellison tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I picked up two offers (North Carolina and Mississippi State) over the last month or so. I have taken one visit to Auburn and I have a couple more visits coming up, but I'm not sure when.

"It's just amazing," he adds about having early offers. "I'm just blessed to have them because I see people out there working hard that don't have any yet. It's just a blessing to me."

A frequent visitor to Auburn since coming over last summer for a football camp, Ellison was on the Plains in late January to check out the Tigers and see the campus once again. Getting a lot of love from Coach Mike Pelton since getting his offer from the Tigers, Ellison said there is a lot to like about the program.

"Auburn is just a great place to be," Ellison said. "I like going down there. It's a great family environment. I like the coaches and it's pretty close to my house, only about an hour drive. It's just fun down there."

With offers from Georgia Tech, Michigan, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Tennessee in addition to Auburn and his two newest additions, Ellison said he still has the Tigers at the top of his list.

"Auburn is still leading the way right now," Ellison said. "I can relate to all the coaches and it's just fun going down there. I'm going down there again this spring, but I'm not sure when. I want to get down there and spend some one-on-one time with the coaches."

One of the coaches Ellison is most excited to talk with is new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. With NFL experience coaching with the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars as well as SEC experience with the Georgia Bulldogs, VanGorder is someone that Ellison said he's very impressed with even though he hasn't had the chance to get to know him.

"That's really why I want to get down to Auburn so I can talk to Coach VanGorder," Ellison said. "It's amazing having a guy coming in from the NFL. He knows what it takes to make it to the NFL. That's a huge plus."

Planning to make visits to North Carolina, South Carolina and Clemson this spring, Ellison said at the moment he's not planning on making an early decision on his future and instead is focused on getting as much information as possible on each of his offers.

As a junior Ellison registered 58 tackles and also added eight sacks from his defensive tackle spot. Heading into his fourth season as a starter he said he's anxious to get on the field for spring practice and take over a role as a leader for his team.

"We're going to have a young defense so we have to start it off right," Ellison said. "I'm ready to kick it into full gear."

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