Up Close: Greg Elleby, Part I

TABOR CITY, N.C. - It's not unusual for a high school to provide a regular influx of talent. But, frankly, it never happens at South Columbus - certainly not as far back as 10-year coach Joey Price can remember. Yet in as many seasons, North Carolina has gotten two commitments - one written and one verbal - from two of the top prospects to ever pass through the 2A institution.

  • Part II

    Greg "The Beast" Elleby, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound defensive tackle with plenty of wingspan and lots of room to grow, joined former teammate defensive back Bryan Dixon when he immediately accepted UNC's scholarship offer on April 22.

    "They called my coach and he told me," Elleby said from his school on Monday. "I was excited about it. They told me to go up there to Chapel Hill on Friday and I did. We sat down in Coach [John] Bunting's office with all the coaches and they offered and I accepted right there."

    Elleby has since been asked to camp at other schools including Virginia and Virginia Tech, but he's turned down all invitations. In other words, his commitment to Carolina is as solid as they come.

    "This season my goals are to win our conference and win the state championship," he said. "At Carolina, my goal is to help them to get back to the Top 10 team that they're supposed to be, because I love Carolina and I would like to do that."

    A solid early verbal for the Tar Heels last recruiting season, Dixon later went on to dominate in the Shrine Bowl practices, outshining nearby Whiteville rival Marquis Melvin – a 2005 Duke signee.

    "All these guys that rate Marquis Melvin as a three-star and Bryan Dixon a two without ever seeing them play; I just don't understand it," Price said. "But Greg's had more interest than Bryan ever had – it's not even close. I mean this early; Bryan was a virtual unknown at this point last year."

    Dixon's recruitment had some influence on Elleby's decision and certainly facilitated his early and frequent exposure to the UNC coaching staff. The tandem led the Stallions to a 9-2 finish in 2004.

    "I know Bryan can get the job done," Elleby said. "I want to be his teammate in college because Bryan Dixon is a player."

    Elleby is an English honors student with a 3.2 core GPA.

    "When you have a kid who is already fully qualified, why not take him?" Price said. "Most coaches believe they can coach them into good ball players.

    The baby in a family full of sons who starred at the prep level, Elleby's eldest brother, Jerome – a "linebacker deluxe," as Price calls him – would likely have played college football had he been as good in the classroom as his youngest sibling. In fact, it was Jerome who gave Greg his nickname.

    Price also reported that Dixon has been fully accepted academically to enroll at UNC.

    "The reason why I made the decision to go to Carolina is because of the coaching staff and my mom and dad want me to go to Carolina and stay close to home," Elleby said. "I love football; I've always loved football. I love the physical aspect of the sport. I love hitting."

    Greg Elleby Profile

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