RECRUITING: Brian Ellis seems to be leaning to UF

Brian Ellis just got off a long day of school and was a tired soul when Gator Country caught up with him but the tight end/defensive end from Daytona Beach Mainland perked up when the conversation turned to his visit to the University of Florida. He will be among a medium sized group of visitors to UF for this last official visit weekend and it's entirely possible he will be the only tight end or defensive end signing on Wednesday.

"Yes sir, I'm heading up tomorrow," said Ellis of his impending trip. "Avery (Atkins) and I are heading up right after school. I've just been waiting to come down there."

Atkins is a cornerback rated five stars by rates Ellis with three stars. Ellis has a 2.7 GPA and has taken the SAT.

After mulling through a lot of scholarship offers, he's narrowed the field to two and it's not a secret "it's going to be Florida or Florida State."

He visited Florida State back on January 7. Three weeks after the positives of the visit have worn off and deep thought has sunk in, he didn't sound so enthusiastic about FSU.

"It [the visit] was alright," he said. "I think I just expected more."

He comes to Gainesville excited, ready to see what the staff and the University have to offer a 6-3, 235-pounder who is a combination of size, strength, agility and versatility. Adding to the excitement is the fact that he's always been fond of orange and blue.

"I just know I always liked the Gators," he said.

The Florida staff has been recruiting him as both a tight end and defensive end. It's not clear at this point where he would be best suited, but he's almost too good an athlete to pass up. If you gave him his choice, he would go to the offensive side of the ball.

He believes his best position is "probably tight end. I can run and get open and I can block. My senior year I had 27 catches for almost 400 yards and seven touchdowns."

It takes just one look at Ellis to understand why some observers think he's a natural for the defensive unit. His size and strength would make him fearsome as a defensive end rushing the quarterback. He admits his strength as a defensive end is "speed coming off the edge."

If there is a weakness or unknown for Brian Ellis as a defensive player, it's his lack of experience.

"At the beginning of the season I played more defense," he said, "but as the season went by they needed me more on offense."

GATOR COUNTRY TAKE: He has the sound of a player ready to commit to the Florida Gators. His teammate, Avery Atkins, has long been a Gator commit and the two are good friends, so that will help as well. Ellis is a very flexible player, capable of playing on both sides of the ball and being a solid contributor. His flexibility and versatility make him a good pick to join this recruiting class.

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