Chargers Prospect Q&A: Small-School Receiver

Jaime Cattano takes a look at a small-school prospect the Bolts might be eyeing in the aftermath of the draft. This wide receiver would add attractive depth to San Diego's roster while chipping in on special teams, too. If he goes undrafted, expect A.J. Smith to offer him a Chargers jersey.

Tommy Ellingworth of Augustana College played for the Vikings as a wide receiver and kick returner. At 5'10", 186 pounds, the athlete marked a senior year supplying the Bolts with true evidence of his ability to be shaped into a star.

Selected second-team All-NCC, Ellingworth recorded 65 receptions for 728 yards and added four touchdowns. He registered five punt returns for 40 yards and two kickoff returns for 37 yards. The responsive prospect is aware of his strengths and abilities.

"I'm a receiver and play the slot. I've had a lot of success in the return game all through college, either kick or punt return, or even carrying the ball on rushes," he said.

After recording a 4.37-second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, Ellingworth marked one of the fastest times among this year's draft prospects.

While Ellingworth's fleet foot grabbed the scouts' attention, his experience returning kicks and punts makes the wide receiver's dual talents all the more appealing.

"I'm a two-for-one," he said. "A team isn't just getting a returner and they're not just getting a receiver. I can get in the backfield, run routes, return punts and kicks. It's kind of a package deal when it comes to me. I can do a lot of good things and I actually pride myself on my blocking."

Ellingworth registered 211 catches for 2,398 yards during his career with the Vikings. Coming from a Division II school, Ellingworth was able to outrun and outfox his opponents to the ball. While his technique will need attention in the big leagues, Ellingworth has realistic expectations for the days ahead of him.

"I'm looking at getting picked up afterwards, hopefully getting an invite to a mini or rookie camp," he said.

With his natural speed and ability, he's a dynamite player itching to be molded. Ellingworth is banking on the Bolts to grant him the opportunity to showcase his flair.

"Getting a chance is the biggest deal now," he said. "Once I get in somewhere, it will be all up to me and I can show teams what I can do. Hopefully, I get that chance."

Starting wide receivers Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson are geared up for next season but the bench can never be too deep. Not only would Ellingworth provide depth and injury protection behind this tandem, but he would also bring cutthroat competition to starting kick returner Darren Sproles.

If he's not picked up by another team, anticipate Norv Turner gathering his grooming tools to mold Ellingworth into a top-notch Charger.


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