Ellison Always Up for a Challenge

HAMILTON, Ga. – There's something about a one-on-one situation that motivates James "Jay" Ellison.

The rising senior at Harris County High finished second in the state last season in wrestling. He's already squatted over 600 pounds in the weight room. And in his spare time he likes to go fishing.

"We've got a couple people who have lakes and ponds at their house," he said. "On the weekends or something we'll just go down there to pass time."

Fishing is Ellison's favorite hobby. Football is his future. Ellison, a 6-1, 280-pound prospect that can play on either the offensive or defensive line, has scholarship offers from schools all over the South and from as far away as Michigan.

"They started last year coming through over the summer and during my junior year," he said of the offers.

Ellison would prefer to play defense in college and likes teams that run a 4-3 scheme. But those points aren't deal breakers – he'll play offensive guard or defense end in a 3-4 scheme if the school feels right.

"I really love defense," he said. "But I'm open to play anywhere." Ellison's recruitment is still on the rise and far from over. While he's still learning about the process, he does hold an advantage.

Teammate and best friend Jordan Jenkins recently concluded his high profile recruitment when he signed with Georgia in February. Ellison got to see what Jenkins, a five-star outside linebacker, went through. He took visits with Jenkins and watched as coaches came to Harris County to court his friend.

"It showed me what to look for, what not to look for and a lot of things that go on with the coaching staffs," Ellison said. Jenkins sees Ellison, or ‘Baby J' as he calls him, as a player that is still getting better.

"Once he loses some fat weight and gains some more muscle weight I think he could set the record for squatting in high school," Jenkins said. "He can easily do about 650, but he just doesn't want to have to work off the heavy weight."

Ellison plans to rack 650 on squat this summer. And he's going to take as many visits to schools as he can. He usually travels with his coach, Tommy Parks, and teammates. But his mother Carol will go on as many as she can, too.

"I'm going to take my time," he said. "It will probably be after the season before I make my decision."

His parents don't mind where he ends up. They're happy he can receive an education for free, no matter if it's in the SEC or any conference. But that doesn't mean there haven't been any people trying to influence Ellison's decision.

The western portion of Georgia has always had a tug of war over college affiliation. Fans of Georgia, Auburn, Alabama and Georgia Tech have let Ellison know where it would be best to attend.

"They're so stuck with one team," he said. "They're like, ‘Just go there, go there. They won this or did that.'"

For now Ellison is trying to master another language in a Spanish class -- not exactly a premier one-on-one matchup in his opinion. That's not going so well, but he's doing the work to get by. Other than that, he's living the Harris County life, waiting on spring football and doing some fishing.

He's got to pass the time because, "it will probably be after the season before I make my decision," he said.

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