Small School Love from the Jaguars

Under the Jack Del Rio era, the Jacksonville Jaguars have never been a team to shy away from drafting players early or late from very small schools. Find out which former small school stars the Jaguars have shown interest in.

Last season alone, the team made Hampton College alum, linebacker Justin Durant their second-round pick, and selections throughout the past five seasons have come from semi-obscure institutions of higher learning that include Bethune-Cookman College (Rashean Mathis), Elon College (Chad Nkang), Delta State (Anthony Maddox), Nicholls State (Chris Thompson), and San Jose State (John Broussard).

According to J.J. Pesavento, the Jaguars have shown considerable interest in small school defensive back Octavius Love, and Eric Hartz is reporting the Jaguars showing interest in wide receiver Tommy Ellingworth.

Octavius Love is hardly a household name, possibly not even in his own household. Love went to Tusculum College and starred at cornerback. Love measures in at 5'10", 195 lbs., and runs the 40-yard dash in the mid 4.5's. Although Love's main position in college was cornerback, he's best known for his explosive special teams abilities, which included a punt return average of a whopping 20.2 yards as a sophomore.

In his career, Love has been a Division II all-american, and has earned first-team all South Atlantic Conference honors. NFL Draft Scout rates Love as the #135 cornerback in this years draft, and a likely undrafted free agent.

One of the other former collegiate stars that the Jaguars have shown interest in is former Augustana College wide receiver Tommy Ellingworth. Ellingworth measures in at 5'10", 183 lbs., and is a Wes Welker type of slot receiver. Ellingworth was invited to South Dakota to work out for some NFL teams and he turned some heads, as he clocked in at 4.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Ellingworth had a solid career at Augustana, where he caught 211 passes for 2398 yards, a ypc. average of just over 11.3 yards. Aside from the Jaguars, other teams who have shown interest are Indianapolis, Minnesota, Baltimore, Arizona, and the New York Jets. Publisher Eric Hartz asked Ellingworth if he was surprised with the time he ran at his workout and he responded—

"Well, yes and no. I kind of knew that I could run a high 4.3 on a good day if I was feeling right and I knew I had a chance, but it was one of those days were it all came together at the time I needed it to and I think some people were pretty surprised. I was more than happy with it."

Although Ellingworth isn't expected to hear his name called next weekend during the draft, he is still optimistic. "We're looking at getting picked up afterwards, hopefully getting an invite to a mini or rookie camp," said the speedy wide receiver. "The biggest thing I'm focusing on, I'm a receiver and play the slot, but I've had a lot of success in the return game all through college, either kick return or punt return, or even carrying the ball on rushes. So that's kind of a selling point, is that I can do more than one thing. A lot of teams are kind of looking for a 2-for-1, a guy that can come in as a third of fourth receiver in the slot and you can throw him back to return a punt or a kick. So that's a big selling point we're trying to push. Hopefully I can get into a camp and then it's kind of up to me just to show people I can play with the talent."

If the Jaguars decide to roll the dice and not select Ellingworth during next weekend's draft, Jack Del Rio and James "Shack" Harris and company must man the phones as soon as the draft concludes and hope they get this speedy wide receiver to sign with the team and try to earn a roster spot. There's no such thing as too much speed.

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