Bad Potato Salad?

A lot of people were hyping up Kenrick Ellis as the state's top defensive tackle prospect back in the spring. Ellis thought that was a mistake by those people.

"I wasn't in too good a shape for the spring," Ellis said. "I just wasn't ready. I must have eaten some bad potato salad or something. I was throwing up a lot and out of shape."

The talented defender, who checked in at a hair under 350 back then, decided to change that.

"I needed to kick it back into gear," he said. "For the couple months leading up to the start of fall practice I was running two miles three times a week. It was rough at first but I got it done. We started doing three a days and all that started getting me back in shape. The last time I checked I had lost about 10 pounds and with all the running and practicing we've done lately I've probably lost some more."

Kenrick Ellis estimates his current weight is probably in the 330 range. He plans to play around 320 during the season.

"I'll be fine," he said. "I'm gonna have to play both ways some this year. Me and (teammate) Ken (Chastine) will rep it in and out so we can stay fresh."

Ellis talked about what makes him different than a lot of other defensive tackle prospects from around the state.

"I don't wanna sound cocky or anything but it's a mental thing for me," he said. "When I step onto the field, I only know one way and that's to beat someone up. The first play of the game, I'm out to destroy someone's confidence. After the first series, it's over. I'm in their heads. I'm talking smack, doing what I can. They start breaking down slowly and by the 4th quarter, it's over. That's another reason I wanna stay fresh, for times like that."

The standout tackle knows a lot of eyes are on him this season from a recruiting standpoint but he isn't letting any of it get to his head.

"I try not let it get to my head," he said. "I try not to brag. I stay as low key as possible. I tell people on my team don't talk about me (being a top recruit) like that when I'm here. I'm no different than any of you guys. We're in this together. Let the college coaches think what they want."

The humble senior is trying to focus his attention on the academic side of things as well. He's trying to bring up a low SAT score and thinks he's on the right path.

"Listen to this," he said. "I just took a practice test and got an 850," he said. "I've been taking an SAT prep class. I got the study book at home and have been doing that. I'm gonna get it. I'll take it a couple more times. I'll be straight. I just gotta bring my gpa up some too. I wish I had the same mindset back in 9th grade as I do now. I wish I took things more seriously back then."

Ellis, who attended the University of Florida camp this summer, says he has over a dozen written scholarship offers. However, he's not even focused on that right now.

"I have no idea what I'm gonna do," he said. "I aint really worried too much about it. I wanna stay focused on our season. We have work to do. I have work to do."

Ellis was asked about where the Hurricanes stand on his mind right now.

"Miami hasn't sent an offer yet but I think they will if I get my grades lined up," he said. "I call them. They send me (handwritten) mail and stuff like that. It's close to home and they produce. They're just one of my options. I have to figure out if I'm gonna stay in-state or not. I'll do all of that after the season."

In addition to the three Florida programs, Ellis has his eyes on programs like Tennessee, Oklahoma, and LSU. He mentioned one that may stand out when asked about possible visits.

"I really wanna check out Tennessee," he said. "Other than that, I'm not real sure right now."

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