South Carolina's junior wide receiver Bruce Ellington indicated on Wednesday that he will at least give some consideration to entering the 2014 NFL Draft. When asked if he would be submitting paperwork to the NFL Draft advisory committee, Ellington responded, "I haven't been thinking about that right now, but -- if it comes down to it -- I probably will."
Ellington is in the middle of his fourth year as a South Carolina student-athlete but just his third as a member of the football team. Ellington was recruited by former basketball coach Darrin Horn to play point guard beginning with the 2010-11 season and did not play football until the 2011 season. The 2013-14 basketball season will be Bruce's last on the basketball court, but he could still play another of year for the football team should he choose to.
The NFL Draft advisory board is comprised of NFL general managers, personnel directors, and scouting combine directors. The panel lets the prospect know if they are likely to be taken in the first round, the second round, the third round or later, or not at all.
A player's decision to submit his name for evaluation by the board does not necessarily indicate an intention to declare for the draft. It could simply be an attempt to evaluate what he will need to do during his final year of collegiate eligibility in order to maximize his draft stock. But considering that Ellington has been on campus since fall of 2010, it wouldn't be the most far-fetched notion in the world for him to try his luck at professional ball.
If Bruce continues to make catches like he did last Saturday, it will only serve to buttress his case for entering the 2014 NFL Draft.
Ellington leads South Carolina with 31 receptions for 468 yards and 5 touchdowns. Junior Damiere Byrd was the Gamecocks' leading receiver heading into last weekend and currently has 23 receptions for 460 yards and 3 touchdowns. Byrd appears to be much less likely than Ellington to leave for the NFL following the 2013 season.
Should Ellington decide to declare for the NFL Draft, the Gamecocks' starting receivers in 2014 would likely be Damiere Byrd, Nick Jones, and Pharoh Cooper or Shaq Roland.
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