Things didn’t go as planned for Tino Ellis or Hyattsville, Md., DeMatha Catholic in a season-opening loss to Warminster, Pa., Archbishop Wood last week. That isn’t carrying over to recruiting, though.
On one hand, that doesn’t matter. The junior receiver was adamant the success of his team comes first over any personal recruiting goals. But the work weeks of college football coaches stop for no one, meaning the 6-foot-1, 180 pound four-star receiver is keeping up with the present and future this fall.
Ellis picked out Nebraska, UCLA, and Tennessee as programs that, through the volume of mail they’ve sent him, may be close to offering. The junior also hears plenty from Maryland, Rutgers, and Penn State.
The junior talked about all six programs with Scout.com. Seven programs in full have extended verbal offers to date.
Nebraska: I’ve been getting mail from their recruiting department. I’m still doing the research, but I just like that their offense is high paced. I’m a big fan of [former quarterback] Taylor Martinez.
UCLA: I’ve been getting mail from them since last year. It’s a west coach school, so I’m big on them and I like how their offense and everything is.
Tennessee: It’s one of the schools I was big on coming into high school, so I’ve always been working on getting an offer from them. [Washington, D.C. product] D’Andre Payne is going there right now, and I know him. I don’t have a problem with kids from the east coach going south or west because I believe you can play anywhere you want to play if you’re good enough.
Rutgers: I’ve been hearing a lot from them. Some of their coaches hit me up on Twitter [Sept. 1] and told me to come up for a game. I talk to their whole recruiting staff, coaches, everyone. They message me and were just telling me I can talk to them anytime about anything, and that they are there for me. I talked with [offensive line] Coach [Mitch] Browning, [wide receivers] Coach [Ben] McDaniels, and [recruiting coordinator Phil] Galiano. They said if I want to come to any games, I can.
Penn State: Penn State came to our school back in the spring, and [2016 DeMatha defensive end] Shane Simmons just committed there, so that’s big. It kind of has an effect on me, because Shane is coming back and he’s like another recruiter now. He wants everyone to come to Penn State, and wants you to come up [with him] for one of their games. He just keeps talking about Penn State. You have to tell him to shut up because he keeps talking about them. I follow them, and I like their tradition. Even though they had the incident, they still have the tradition, and people want to go there.
Maryland: I’ve always been a big fan of Maryland and Stedfon Diggs. I like how [offensive coordinator Mike] Locksley coaches, and I like what he’s doing up there. It’s my hometown school. I always went up there to visit every now and then, and I like what they’re doing with their offense and how they’re rebuilding the program and everything.
Ellis has no visits planned, but said he would ideally wait until November to pick out schools to visit so he can see what the atmosphere is like for late-season games.