Amato, FSU Targeting Ellis?

Wendell (NC) East Wake defensive back Dominique Ellis verbally committed to NC State last July over offers from South Carolina, North Carolina, and Louisville among others. Now that Chuck Amato is back on the staff at Florida State, Amato is pursuing Ellis. Is the three-star defensive back considering the Seminoles?

Wendell (NC) East Wake defensive back Dominique Ellis was in Raleigh this weekend to watch NC State's 83-79 win over North Carolina.

"I just came back from the UNC game," Ellis told Pack Pride. "It was great. We hate those Tar Heels so you know I felt good after the game. The atmosphere in there was awesome."

Ellis wasn't the only football prospect in attendance, as other Wolfpack commitments and a host of top juniors were on-hand for the big victory.

"We had a lot of our commitments up for the game," Ellis said. "Justin Byers came up for the game, and it was great getting to hang out with him. He was with me at the Shrine Bowl so we got to know each other down there. We know each other so well now that even though he lives in Charlotte it seems like he lives up here.

"It was great getting to hang out with him."

"Desmond Roberts came up with his mother for the game. We just talked about how it has changed at State. The atmosphere, it seems like the players are more alive. It just seems like they are more excited to play really... I can't even describe it, but the total atmosphere is different. We'll be competing for the championship next year.

"We had some others up, and there were so many juniors there that I don't even know all of them. There was a junior from Bunn that was there with his coach. I think State offered him."

Ellis verbally committed to NC State early in the recruiting process, choosing the Wolfpack over offers from North Carolina, South Carolina, East Carolina, Louisville, and Virginia Tech. After the coaching change in Raleigh, several schools continued to pursue Ellis, but he has been impressed with new Wolfpack head coach Tom O'Brien and his staff.

"You know, the entire staff is great," said Ellis. "All the coaches, they are very straightforward in what they want to do at NC State and that's the best way you can be. Coach O'Brien reminds me of Bill Belichick from the Patriots. He's very straightforward and all the players really respect him as a coach. He also tries to get to know you on a personal level, and I like that.

"This weekend I had my first chance to get to meet the new defensive backs coach, coach Reed, and he's impressive. He was with the Eagles and that catches your attention right there. He coached some of the best defensive backs in the league, Lito Sheppard, Brian Dawkins... all of those guys. That's big. He's a young guy, and he relates so well to us."

Ellis, a lockdown corner who also has the size and physical ability to project as a safety, stated that he spent some time with coach Reed discussing how he might fit in.

"Coach Reed said he thinks I can play any of the positions back there," stated Ellis. "They are talking about me playing free and strong safety and some corner when they are in dime or nickel.

"My freshman year I plan on coming in and working hard. I'm going to try and go to all the spring practices and the spring game so I can watch everything they do. I live right down the street so I'm going to try and go to everyone of them. That way I can watch the defense and see what they are trying to do."

"He was with the Eagles and that catches your attention right there."

Ellis remains firmly committed to the Wolfpack despite recent interest expressed by new Florida State linebackers coach Chuck Amato.

"Coach Amato, he actually visited my school twice to come see me," said Ellis. "I guess it's just like what coach O'Brien is doing with some Boston College recruits. There are some guys that he really likes and really feels strongly about so he's still trying to get them to commit to NC State. I guess coach Amato is doing the same. You have to respect him for trying to get some of his recruits because it is a business.

"He came and talked to me, but I just had to let him know that State was the place for me. I've been committed since July 22nd, and that's not changing. Even though Florida State was my favorite team of all-time, State has just changed my whole perspective on football and the college atmosphere. That's where I'm going to be."


Pack Pride Top Stories