RECRUITING: DT Ellis Narrows It Down To Six

Kenrick Ellis of Greenacres (FL) John I. Leonard has a split personality. Off the field the Jamaican-born defensive tackle is personable, fun to talk to and a bit on the playful side. Strap a helmet and pads on him, however, and it's no more Mr. Nice Guy, which is the side of his personality that Division I recruiters love. Until recently, however, Ellis was keeping a lid on his favorites, but now he's talking and there are six schools that made the cut.

(Kenrick Ellis profile)

The 6-5, 320-pound disruptor has an offer list that just keep growing but he's thought things through and Saturday evening he told me that he's ready to get serious with six schools.

"Right now I have at least 20 offers," he said. "The University of Florida offered me they were one of the first ones. Miami told me they don't really offer unless they have watched me for two years, but I think if I really wanted to go there, they would offer me a scholarship. My favorites right now are all the Florida schools (Florida, Miami, FSU), Oklahoma, South Carolina, and LSU. I'm just going to go ahead and end it right there, Bob … those are my top six. There is no disrespect to the other schools. It is just what is best for me."

The classy wrecking machine has enjoyed the recruiting process and during the typical letters, phone calls and other wooing that goes on, he's found the hand-written letter probably has the most effect on him.

"I read all my mail, but if a coach wants to get to a player they write hand written letters," he said adamantly. "I have to admit, Miami, the University of Florida, and the University of South Florida they all write hand written letters. It feels like they are trying to communicate with you and not just a computer."

One piece of mail was effective enough to get him to name that school as a current favorite, and this wasn't a hand written letter. It seems LSU has some very nice living arrangements for the players at the school.

"LSU sent me one letter that wasn't hand written, but it was a picture of the campus and where the players live and it looked beautiful," he said. "I was like, man I have to go visit there."

He is a very humble kid, amazed that all these high profile coaches are making contact with him and putting all this effort into securing his name on a scholarship. He understands that he has some ability, but he thinks it is his willingness to get better that has them looking.

"I like the fact that the people at these big universities want me," he said. "I don't really critique myself very much. All I do is try and look at my weaknesses and become better."

Time has allowed only one camp this summer and that was to Gainesville where he got to spend some time with Coach Urban Meyer. He had a great time on that visit but if time permits, he would like to see at least one more campus.

"I haven't had a chance because I was working," he said. "I am trying to catch a camp if I can get to one, but I don't know where."

He knows the competition he faces in his neck of the woods in south Florida is the best there is and he goes so far as to say the talent in Florida is the best "hands down."

He added, "I think mostly south Florida, but the whole state of Florida is the best in the country. If you look in the pros, there are more players than from any other state."

Now that he's got his choices narrowed down, the very likeable Kenrick Ellis can start figuring out which school will be best for him. Whichever school lands this big guy, it will be the nice, polite young man off the field and in the classroom, but on the field, it will indeed be no more Mr. Nice Guy.

Fightin Gators Top Stories