The Terps became the latest offer for American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) defensive tackle George Ellis III May 17, and the 6-foot-2, 290-pound three-star labeled Maryland a school of interest. Ellis hadn’t even spoken to UMD assistants Chris Beatty, Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and Andy Buh, who were all at an American Heritage workout, before saying Maryland “caught my eye.”
“I actually couldn’t go to my team’s workout [May 17], but my coach let me know Maryland had offered, and as soon as he said that I was pretty excited,” said Ellis, who has offers from UMD, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, USF, Mississippi State, Cincinnati, Illinois, NC State, Southern Miss and UCF. “It’s a school I can’t wait to learn more about.”
Ellis doesn’t have any connections to the Maryland program, nor does he know much about the school beyond the basics. But evidently the Florida tackle has been a semi-frequent viewer of Terps games/highlights on ESPN.
“I’ve just always liked them and I think it’s a great school,” Ellis said. “What stands out to me is the defense and how they’re energetic on the field; run to the ball; and are hyped. I just always liked watching them and I want to get up there and meet the coaches. Also, they offered my cousin [teammate James Houston, a four-star linebacker] too, so we might check them out together.
"I should be talking to [the coaches] pretty soon so I can start building a relationship and set up a date when I can get up there.”
The Terps may be in mind for now, but Beatty, the primary recruiter, is going to have some other coaches to fend off for the rising-star’s services. Ellis admitted Wisconsin had his attention, first and foremost, along with Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.
Meanwhile, the Plantation product is hoping the likes of Miami, FSU and Florida eventually ante up. Ellis said all three Sunshine State standouts are interested and have stopped by American Heritage to view workouts.
“Wisconsin is up there, because it’s always been a great school and my cousin [James Houston] is really high on them and likes it a lot up there,” Ellis said. “I can’t wait to get up there and see it for myself. It’s always been a great Big Ten school, and it’s one of the schools that offered me first and has been on me.
“Then Vanderbilt, I visited there and just really liked the culture and the academics. They stand out to me, and also Mississippi State because it’s a big offer and an SEC school.”
Ellis has only visited Vandy, Miami and UCF so far. He doesn’t have a set summer schedule, but would like to trek to Mississippi State, Maryland, Wisconsin and USF.
“Then after I take some visits I’m going to have a top-five by the end of June,” Ellis said. “I can’t say for sure right now who will be there, except Wisconsin. But the rest, I have to wait and see. We’ll see if, like, Miami, offers, or Florida State or Florida. Right now I’m just taking things in.”
Ellis has no timeline for selecting a college.