"The NCAA didn't accept two of my classes which set me back on my GPA," said Ellis. "It all came from them not accepting two of my classes from when I was in high school in Georgia.
"I thought all of my classes would be accepted so I only took the SAT one time because I got the score I needed the first time I took it. The only thing I need to do now is take the SAT over again and improve only about 10 or 15 points and I'm good."
Ellis isn't letting the recent bad news get him down.
"I'm going to get what I need with no problem," he said. "It's nothing but a little bump in the road for me. It's just going to make my 'Behind The Glory' story sound better and look better."
Ellis is taking a road that nonqualifiers normally don't take. Instead of enrolling in a prep school or junior college, he plans on studying for the SAT while working out with a local trainer so he can stay at his Raleigh home. Former Wolfpack players Lamart Barrett and Garland Heath both chose this route, as did current NC State players Marcus Bond and Miguel Scott.
"I'm not going to prep school," said Ellis. "I'm going to work out with this guy who played for the Detroit Lions and in the Arena football League. He's training me to get my ready for when I enroll at NC State in January."
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 was 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."
After firming up his commitment, Ellis inked with the Wolfpack. Defensive backs coach Mike Reed, who spent five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, played a major role in his recruitment. "He's impressive," Ellis said of Reed. "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. "Coach Reed said he thinks I can play any of the positions back there. They are talking about me playing free and strong safety and some corner when they are in dime or nickel."
Because he didn't qualify, Ellis knows that his recruitment is open again. Will he entertain other offers?
"Other schools keep calling, but I'm with State," he said. "I feel at home over there. It just feels like home."
PLAYER QUOTE: "Dominique, who has [signed wit NC] State, he stood out to me [last] summer. He's real impressive. He's a shutdown corner, real physical… I didn't really know who he was, but at the Nike Camp he was locking everybody up. I'm glad we got him [signed], we're getting a nice squad together." -- Charlotte (NC) Olympic Wide Receiver Steven Howard
SCOUTING REPORT #1: "Dominique Ellis is a player that has been somewhat overlooked, perhaps partly due to the fact he transferred to East Wake High School from Georgia this year. Ellis has a perfect frame for cornerback and a tremendous attitude. His straight-line speed may be a concern but his lateral movement, quickness and change of direction are superb. He showed solid cover skills during the combine circuit this spring and more than held his own against some of the nation's best." -- Pack Pride Recruiting Analyst Steve Williams
SCOUTING REPORT #2: "Dominique Ellis is an undersized but active strong safety who is excellent in press coverage and makes up ground well against the number two receiver on his side. Will require help against a bigger tight end, but plays well in the air to overcome a few inches in height. Able to play in the box and has a cornerback attitude that just keeps coming back after any bad plays." -- Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Miller Safrit
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