Up Close: Greg Elleby, Part II

TABOR CITY, N.C. --- North Carolina 2006 commitment Greg Elleby says he doesn't mind being called "The Beast" one bit. His older brother Jerome came up with the nickname many years ago and Greg has been living up to it ever since.

Click here to read Part I which ran yesterday.

"All my teachers called me ‘The Beast,' when I got here," Elleby said. "My principal calls me ‘The Beast;' everybody calls me ‘The Beast.'"

When Elleby first visited South Columbus coach Joey Price's weight room as a ninth grader, he was already close to his current height of 6-foot-5.

But was he ever skinny, and unknown to Price at the time – although he had coached Jerome and several of his brothers before him – was just how hard Elleby would work to get bigger and stronger over the next two years.

"He finally filled out," Price said. "Greg is the hardest worker I've ever had in the weight room – that's no lie. Bryan [Dixon] had those kinds of habits, too; but when Greg works out for an hour and a half, he really works out an hour and a half – the whole time he's in there."

Now Elleby is up to a lean 285 pounds and appears to have a great deal of potential for more growth. He already benches 325 pounds, cleans 325 and squats 465.

"His bench is a little of deceiving when you have arms as big as his," Price said. "It's a long way up when he pulls it to his chest."

Though Price said Elleby has continually worked to improve his speed as well. He was clocked at 5.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash a recent combine at Richmond County.

"He's run faster than that," Price said. "We're not going to another combine. There's no need to go. We're going to North Carolina.

"He's not going to waver; I'm not going to let him waver. I told him before he committed that a man is only as good as his word."

Prior to Dixon's and Elleby's decisions, South Columbus (formerly Tabor City HS) had only placed five players at Division I schools over the past decade -- four went to East Carolina and one to Navy.

Price said John Bunting is the reason UNC will be getting two of his former Stallions.

"I love Coach Bunting," he said. "He's got character. I mean I'm not with him every day, but just the way he handles his kids and disciplines his kids… Everything he has told me has been exactly like it was going to be. He hasn't ever told me anything that wasn't going to be."

And Price admits he is not a Carolina fan.

"I think John Bunting believes in all that Carolina stuff – academics first, student athlete and all that. The average fan doesn't believe it, but he does."

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