NCAA FB

South Carolina wideout Ellington to enter NFL draft

Bruce Ellington of the South Carolina Gamecocks hauls in a 39 yard touchdown pass
South Carolina's Bruce Ellington is entering the NFL Draft.
Share This Story

   
 

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)

South Carolina's Bruce Ellington picked football over basketball Friday, giving up his final seasons in each sport to enter the NFL draft.

The 5-foot-9 Ellington played point guard for the Gamecocks basketball team and was a receiver on the football squad the past three seasons. But it was on the football field where Ellington had the most success. He led South Carolina with 49 catches for 775 yards and eight touchdowns this year.

Ellington may have had his best game in the eight-ranked Gamecocks' 34-24 win over No. 19 Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl on Wednesday. He caught six passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns, plus threw a 9-yard TD pass to South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw.

South Carolina also announced that defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles or cornerback Victor Hampton gave up their senior seasons for the pros, although those three had previously said they were heading to the NFL early.

Ellington thanked football coach Steve Spurrier and both basketball coaches he played for with the Gamecocks, Darrin Horn and Frank Martin. Ellington had said Thursday night when the Gamecocks returned home from the bowl that he'd made up his mind, but wanted to talk with Martin before announcing his choice.

''It's been a great experience and I've been truly blessed,'' Ellington said.

Ellington, listed at 196 pounds, was also blessed with a body that rarely ran down.

He was a multi-sport standout at Berkeley High in Moncks Corner and quarterbacked his team to a state football title his senior season. But Ellington said he was coming to South Carolina to play basketball only for Horn's team.

That changed at the end of his first season when Ellington, the basketball team's top scorer, put on the pads after basketball and took part in summer drills. Ellington was part of the football team that fall, earning a spot on the all-SEC Freshman team, then returned to the court after South Carolina's bowl game.

That was Ellington's pattern the past two seasons, blending time on the court with football workouts.

Ellington said in November he expected that to continue this winter, too. But it was his play on the field, though, that pointed him to a football career. While Ellington didn't have a winning season with the basketball team - the Gamecocks changed coaches from Horn to Martin after the 2011-12 season - he helped Spurrier's group to three straight 11-2 seasons.

Ellington increased his reception and yardage totals each year. This fall, he became South Carolina's most reliable and clutch receiver. His fourth-down, 15-yard TD catch in overtime kept South Carolina tied at Missouri, a game with Gamecocks would win in two extra sessions, 27-24.

In the bowl game, Ellington made a juggling catch on fourth-and-7 for a first down before pulling in a 22-yard TD grab that put the Gamecoccks ahead for good, 20-17.

Martin had praised Ellington's basketball skills and had hoped to have him at practices to teach a Gamecocks roster featuring seven freshmen. Martin, though, was happy for Ellington.

''He's a winner and he is going to utilize this as taking the first step of the next chapter of his life,'' Martin said. ''All of us at South Carolina should be ecstatic that a young man his age has given so much of himself to represent this university athletically, socially and academically in a first class way.''

Ellington's cousin is Andre Ellington, a two-time 1,000-yard rusher at Clemson who gained more than 1,000 all-purpose yards a rookie with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tagged: Clemson, South Carolina, Andre Ellington, Bruce Ellington

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash