COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Let's play a little word association with DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) four-star receiver and top Terps 2016 target Tino Ellis.
1970's Southern rocker Lynyrd Skynyrd's epic hit 'Free Bird.' Tino Ellis.
Ellis, while one of the nation's most sought-after receivers who is set to decide on July 31 mostly between Maryland and Virginia Tech (as things stand now), has another side away from football he doesn't often reveal.
Ellis, whose Stags team captured the title at the June 20 7-on-7 tournament at UMD, likes to strum rifts on his guitar during his downtime, and 'Free Bird' is one of his favorites. Everything has been said about the Stags play-maker leading up to the eve of his college decision, so we decided to dig a little deeper with the local standout, who could be yet another key cog in the 2016 DMV haul.
"I play the guitar, any genre really, and I will play any song," Ellis revealed "'Free Bird,' I will play it at my house, but never really before out in public. But maybe someday."
A congenial, well-versed youngster, Maryland would certainly like to see Ellis make a little music at College Park over the next several years. And they will find out soon enough.
"My recruiting is going to end July 31, that is when I will announce. And so far it is Maryland, Virginia Tech, Rutgers, West Virginia, Wake Forest, plus a couple more. But I think Maryland and Virginia Tech, and maybe Wisconsin and Nebraska, too," Ellis said of his core group of finalists/leaders.
Ellis said that between now and the end of July, decision day, he plans to come back to both UMD and Virginia Tech for unofficials and meetings with staff.
For his announcement, he will do it either at R.J. Bentley's or at DeMatha.
"It's one of my favorite restaurants, plus it is close to my school," Ellis said of the local Maryland institution just blocks from the Hyattsville school.
"But Maryland, they have great coaches, great program. And they were one of the first programs to offer me, like ninth-grade year, so that means something to me as a player," Ellis said.
"And Dwayne [Haskins] just loves Maryland, and D.J. [Turner] and Keandre [Jones], they are in my ear every day, they talk to me all the time," Ellis said of locals banding together. "I am feeling real good [about the DMV movement], like Terrance Davis, he is looking hard at at Michigan and Maryland. So him and a lot of guys."
Ellis met with Randy Edsall before and after camp, and through the first three games June 20 he had five touchdown catches and several pass breakups.
"And at Maryland, just the success of the receivers, be it Stefon Diggs or Torrey Smith, in the past. Those guys, they got the job done here, so that's the model you can be," Ellis said.
When asked if he will peel off a rift of 'Free Bird' at Bentley's if he happens to have his announcement there, Ellis quipped:
"Sure, I will play it there that day. That would be fun."
Ellis Reveals New Side At Terps 7-on-7 Camp
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