Tigers keep an eye on Ellington

When Tony Cox starts drawing up plays as offensive coordinator for Berkeley High School in Moncks Corner (S.C.), he has Bruce Ellington in mind.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Ellington comes to mind because he is the guy the Stags want to make sure has the ball.

"You can put Bruce anywhere and he is going to be good at it," Cox said.

And the proof is in Ellington's work. The cousin of current Clemson running back Andre Ellington rushed for 810 yards and four touchdowns last fall, while also catching 21 passes for 422 yards and three more scores.

He is also an excellent punt returner (10.5 yards per return) and a kickoff returner (36.9 yards) where he returned three kicks for touchdowns. In all, he totaled 1,791 all-purpose yards.

"We can put Bruce wherever, and he is going to be dominant in that position," Cox said. "The problem with that is we wish we had more Bruces, so we try to put him in at many places as possible where he can help us win."

It's Ellington's athletic ability that has Clemson interested in his services at the next level. Currently the Tigers, Georgia Tech, South Carolina and South Florida have expressed the most interest in his services though other schools are starting to hear about the versatile player as well.

"We will use Bruce in different ways in the fall," Cox said. "We will be using him some as a quarterback, running back, receiver and defensive back.

"He will pretty much be used as a utility guy and as a rover or wherever we need him at the most. That's pretty much what Bruce is. The difference between him and Andre is Andre is a true running back and Bruce is a true athlete."

Clemson wasn't sure where it was going to need Ellington's services. The last time Cox talked with a Clemson coach, it was last month when David Blackwell was still on the staff. Cox said he has not spoken with Ellington's new recruiting coach, Dan Brooks, put he expects to be in touch with the new Clemson coach soon.

Brooks is in charge of recruiting the low country in South Carolina as part of his recruiting area.

"They were kind of in the mix of trying to place him," said Cox in reference to his last conversation with Blackwell. "That's what has kind of hurt him a little bit with colleges because he isn't actually playing one position, he is playing everywhere."

Cox said Georgia Tech is looking at Ellington as a quarterback and as a running back, while the other schools see him as a defensive back. The Yellow Jackets like him on offense because Berkeley runs a double-wing offense that is similar to what they run.

"It hurts him in terms of colleges because a lot of colleges want to see him play DB because it is not like he is a 6-foot-4 quarterback," Cox said. "We have to win so we have to put him where we think he can help us be successful."

Ellington has played varsity football since his freshman year and has been moved all over the place. The Stags will probably utilize his 4.4 speed more as a quarterback this year than they did last year because of the offense that they are in.

Cox is planning to bring Ellington to Clemson for an unofficial visit on April 11 to watch the spring game and to visit with Andre. Bruce Ellington has not taken any other visits and currently has no offers, but his coach expects some soon.

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