Ellis ready to play for championships at Florida

Brian Ellis put the pen to paper signing with the University of Florida in the Mainland High School Media Center Wednesday. The 6-3, 235-pound two-way performer was surrounded by numerous family members, coaches, teachers and classmates in the standing room only crowd.

In all, 14 Buccaneer seniors were on the stage to sign national letters of intent, an outstanding testament to the dedication of everybody involved with the Mainland program.

"I'm just excited to have the opportunity to play at Florida," said Ellis, who plays both tight end and defensive end. "I've liked Florida all along. I'm really glad that this (the recruiting process) is over. It was time to get it done. I say can't enough about my experience at Mainland, but it's time to move on."

The Buccaneers handily won the 2003 Class 5A state championship, due in large part to a tremendous group of juniors who took center stage as seniors on Wednesday. Reminders of that championship are everywhere.

Brian Ellis announces intention to be a Gator

"We played for championships here," said Ellis. "I'm ready to do that again. I'm excited. They'll (Florida) throw the ball to the tight end. I really liked how they'll move him around and do so many things. I'm leaving one great program for another."

His commitment to the Gators adds nine more ecstatic fans to the Gator nation. While I was interviewing Brian, nine family members came over and hugged him, all of them speaking with such pride about this young man they love, all of them talking excitedly about the trips they will be making to Gainesville for the next four or five years. Gainesville is not all that far away, and for the family of Brian Ellis, the miles will pass quickly on football weekends.

Brian Ellis and his family

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