South Carolina’s men’s basketball program got some interesting news today that the point guard, Bruce Ellington, is going to give football a try. The star point guard could join the football team in their spring practices as early as Thursday, but it may not happen until the fall that he is allowed to get out there with the football squad.
This is interesting on so many different levels as just a few weeks ago he stated that football was not in his future and what does Coach Horn think of this? I can not imagine Horn “blessed” his star guard doing this or did he? This could be a big blow to the basketball team but I guess we shall see. I would love to have been a fly on that wall when he told Coach Horn of this or when Horn got the news as the basketball coach put a lot of stock in Ellington.
How good can he be in football? Well the only way to judge that is to look at what he accomplished in Division II-AAAA. Ellington, in his senior year of high school ball, had 2,878 total yards and accounted for 40 touchdowns as the quaterback. In 2008, as a running back and some wide out, Ellington averaged 14.9 yards every time he touched the ball, piling up 1,711 all-purpose yards, including 810 yards on the ground.
Many projected him as a wide out coming out of high school at the collegiate level if he pursued football rather than basketball. So he could be given a look at WR. Heck, he has the talent to be soley a return guy given his speed and playmaking abilities. He likely will have some “designed” plays for him and boy…it would be nice to see him run the “Wild Cock” as this is pretty much what he did as a QB in high school.
I am excited for this as he adds talent to the team and depth. Questions still on how this affects his basketball scholarship as the NCAA, I think, would require him to be on the football side of the scholarship equation (“Bear Bryant Rule”). Another question is will he be allowed to practice in the spring given NCAA rules and LOI wording (early basketball signee status) could limit this. Last question, is if he joins the football team, then when would he join the basketball team? Lots to sort out on this news story in lots of angles.
Bottom line – he is a special kid, even if just 5-9; the football team could use him to make plays and be just another weapon for Spurrier. I hope he sticks with it and plays the dual sport player role well. I don’t want him to quit basketball and hope he can find success in both sports. He could be our Deion Sanders….