Running back Devin Ellison was recruited to Georgia Tech as an A-back in coach Paul Johnson’s offense. But after Johnson decided to step down as coach, Ellison, from Jacksonville, Fla., didn’t waver, and his commitment may have become even more resolute since Tech hired Geoff Collins as his replacement last week.
Ellison was on campus this past weekend for his official visit and tweeted a photo with Collins and proclaimed that “I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me these next 4 years!”
Collins’ offense evidently has Ellison excited.
“This is the most I’ve heard him talk about the offense,” said Chad Parker, Ellison’s position coach at Bartram Trail High, in St. Johns, Fla. “I didn’t hear him talk about the offense as much (before the transition) as much as the school.”
Parker said that Ellison’s primary interest was in the Tech degree and not as much about who the coach was. Parker carries a 4.1 GPA and was offered by multiple Ivy League schools.
“He was like, coach, it doesn’t matter who’s there,” Parker said. “I didn’t go to Tech for the coaching staff. I went for the education. Football’s a bonus.”
After Collins was hired, Ellison and Parker got assurance from Tech area recruiter Lamar Owens that his scholarship would be honored through the coaching change.
“He said, ‘I talked to (athletic director Todd Stansbury) and they’re honoring all commitments and scholarships,’ so he’s solid, and he’s good to go,’” Parker said. “It looks like it’ll actually be a good fit.”
To Parker, Ellison may actually be a better fit in a pro-style scheme than in Johnson’s option offense. Ellison’s vision as a running back could help him as a running back running zone plays on the inside and outside, where he would be looking for holes to penetrate. Parker described his ability to spot holes as “unbelievable.”
Temple and Collins actually offered Ellison in January, an indication that he’s a fit for the scheme that Collins will use at Tech. Size-wise, at least, he looks like a match. Ellison is 5-foot-9 and 195 pounds. The Owls’ leading rusher in 2017 was 5-9, 190. He can also bench press more than 300 pounds and squat more than 400.
“He’s going to get yards after the catch,” Parker said. “He’s not a speed guy – he’s a 4.6 40 kid, mid 4.6 – but he makes up for it with his power and his vision.”
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