Bruce Ellington emerging as go-to receiver

South Carolina's Bruce Ellington has begun to show how valuable he is to the Gamecocks football team. Ellington had another standout performance against Arkansas to continue his strong play of late.

Bruce Ellington is just a pure athlete.

We've all seen his talents on the basketball court. Ellington initially came to South Carolina on a basketball scholarship in 2010 and took off running as the Gamecocks' starting point guard. He earned SEC All-Freshman honors after leading the team in scoring with a 12.8 point average per game.

But as we know, Ellington was a star on the football field as well.

Ellington led the Berkeley Stags to the Division II-AAAA state championship as the quarterback in 2009. In that year, he gained 2,878 all-purpose yards, including 1,541 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns on 148 carries. He was a finalist for the "Mr. Football" award in South Carolina.

He turned the opportunity to play college football for his love of basketball. After finishing his freshman season at South Carolina, Ellington decided he missed football and wanted a return to the gridiron. Coach Spurrier told him to come on out and Ellington showed just why he's considered a phenomenal athlete.

In the 2011 season, Ellington played in all 13 games in his first season of football since 2009. He earned Freshman All-SEC honors as an all-purpose performer. He became the Gamecocks' "Wildcat" formation as well as playing wideout and kick returner for the Gamecocks. Ellington did a little bit of everything for the Gamecocks and it showed in his stats for the season. He caught 17 passes for 211 yards, rushed 17 times for 106 yards, completed 3-of-4 passes for 27 yards and returned 20 kickoffs for a 23.1-yard average.

It's amazing to see what Ellington was able to do on the college football field after sitting out a season, much less against SEC-level competition.

The expectation of improvement the next year was there for Ellington but the flirtation of returning as a full-time member of the basketball team weighed heavily on Ellington's mind. After much deliberation, Ellington decided to continue to play both sports and Steve Spurrier had to be happy as Ellington is starting to emerge as the go-to receiver for South Carolina.

The past two games for Ellington have seen him eclipse the 100-yard, including his career-high of 104 yards on five catches against Arkansas. The recent strong performance of Ellington could be tied to his recent position change with Ace Sanders. Ellington has moved to the outside receiver position for the Gamecocks and has flourished in that role since the Tennessee game.

"They moved me to the outside, and I am running the seam routes that they want me to," said Ellington on Saturday. "Connor (Shaw) is just doing a good job getting me the ball."

While Shaw may getting him the ball, Ellington has a little bit to do with that as well.

Ellington is the Gamecocks leading receiver in yards with 470 and in receptions with 28. He's second on the team in touchdown receptions with four.

There's a whole lot to like about Bruce Ellington on the football field. He's quick, runs good routes, has good hands and can make a play out of nothing.

The Gamecocks are finally seeing what they can get from Ellington on the football field.

Bruce Ellington and Gamecock football – a perfect combination.

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