In October, junior WR Bruce Ellington told reporters he would likely submit paperwork to the NFL Draft advisory board. Today, Ellington indicated that a jump to the professional ranks is still a path he's considering.
Bruce Ellington still considering turning pro after Capital One Bowl, he says. No timetable on decision.
Bruce Ellington still considering turning pro after Capital One Bowl, he says. No timetable on decision.— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) December 28, 2013
Should he should choose to declare, Ellington would leave Columbia as a beloved icon of the program's ongoing golden age. Originally committing to Darrin Horn's basketball program in 2010, Ellington elected to join the football team in 2011. After modest contributions that year, Ellington led the Gamecocks in receiving yards the past two seasons. While it's hard to imagine the South Carolina sports landscape without hearty bellows of BRUUUUCE cascading throughout Williams-Brice or the CLA, that Ellington has the itch isn't inconceivable. He's played nearly six full seasons of collegiate athletics, and one can assume he's inspired by the success of his cousin and Arizona Cardinals rookie Andre Ellington (highlight).
One factor that may work in the Gamecocks' favor is the receiver depth in the 2014 class. Ellington doesn't appear in SBNation's Top 40 WR prospects, nor in CBSSports.com's top 1,000 overall prospects. This writer would be hard pressed to believe there are 1,000 superior pro football prospects to Bruce Ellington, but he's certainly got some work to do if he's going to get on the radar. The Gamecocks are poised to return an experienced offense in 2014, which would give Ellington the opportunity to gain further exposure and fortify his résumé.
The other interesting angle to this situation is that Bruce would no longer be a member of the South Carolina basketball program, since preparing for a career in professional football would take precedence. Thankfully, the emergence of Duane Notice and Ty Johnson should soften the impact of his departure. Ellington, who is 19 yards from breaking into the program's all time top 10 in receiving yards, has until January 15 to declare for the draft.
If Bruce does choose to close the book on his Gamecock career, what will you remember as his signature catch?