Tarheel State Standout going for serious numbers

Rated as one of the top 30 prospects out of the state of North Carolina, Danell Ellerbe is opting to play a waiting game. For schools? Yes, but there's more to this season than just the recruiting. Dannell has that and some serious goals in mind. If those are achieved, schools will be waiting on him.

Based on his size, Dannell fits that "tweener" sort of role. Schools recruiting him at both safety and linebacker, Ellerbe sees himself in either role, but he does have a preference. "I'm really just wanting to play linebacker." Dannell said. "Carolina is like the only school looking at me as a safety, but I want to be LB in college."

Dannell's current size of 6'1" and 190+ lbs., would put him somewhat on the light side for college, but his frame would certainly seem to lend to the fact that he can put on the weight. Ellerbe is counting on it as he sees himself a lot bigger once he gets into the collegiate ranks. "I see myself playing at around 230." Dannell said. "But, I think I can still hold maybe a 4.5/40."

If Ellerbe can achieve those goals, I think you can agree that just on physical potential, he'll be a force for sure.

What Ellerbe feels more than anything this year isn't pressure to prove what he can do to the college scouts, but to get his team over the hump this year, Richmond County losing just one game last year, but that one coming in the semi-finals of the playoffs. He wants to get back and lucky for him and his team, payback comes early. "The team that knocked us out last year (Providence), that's our first game of the season, so we'll get a chance to pay them back right away." Dannel said.

Retribution not withstanding, Dannell has some other goals in mind, actually the detail of which is pretty remarkable. While some say they would like to have approximately this or about that, Ellerbe has it all mapped out, down to the digit. "I want to get 170 tackles this year, 3 sacks, 3 interceptions and a blocked punt." he said. "I also want a touchdown, because that's the best when you can get a pick and take it to the house."

To reiterate, if Dannell reaches those goals, there won't be any talk about potential in the aspect of what Dannell could offer to schools that haven't put an offer to him just yet. Rather, it will be potential just from the glut on attention. Sometimes, each can be considered very different.

What's not different, hasn't been nor will it be is what Dannell plans to do during the recruiting process and that is exactly, nothing. "I'm just letting it go and see what happens." Ellerbe stated. "I'm not in any hurry, so I got time to work on getting a state title this year and look at schools afterwards."

As to the attention he's getting from schools like Michigan, Tennessee and Nebraska and his concern about attention becoming offers, he's not worried about that either and really, there's no concern at all. "Nahh, that stuff doesn't bother me." Dannell said of looks not being offers quite yet. "I get my goals, it will happen, but I'm not worried about it right now."

Dannell didn't strike me as the type that was overly worried about much, taking things very much in stride, letting the chips fall where they may. He was quite willing to just let his actions speak for him this year and figured that if he did his job, the schools would be there in the end.

About those schools though, was there any one team that he considered a dream school, because it was said that Michigan might be that for him at one time? Dannell discounted that for the most part. "No, it's not like that right now. I'm just playing it out and I will just see what happens."

Dannell recorded a 24 on his ACT and sports a 3.0 core GPA.

Steve Ryan can be reached at huskerconnection@neb.rr.com or 402-730-5619

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