Rixon Lane on Twitter reported that Bruce Ellington will announce on Friday he will declare for the NFL Draft. About an hour later, Dylan Thompson sent a tweet that seemed to confirm the decision:
Couldn't be more proud of My brother @BruceEllington . He put in the time that no one saw. Worked harder than anyone. He deserves it! #FAM— Dylan Thompson (@DT_ONE_SEVEN) January 3, 2014
Ellington's decision comes in advance of the basketball team's match-up this evening against South Carolina State, where he had been expected to play. It seems likely his announcement means he will not play basketball for Carolina this season.
Speculation increased in recent weeks that Bruce may depart from Columbia after the Capital One Bowl when he told reports he filed paperwork with the NFL Draft Advisory Committee. Those rumors only increased with his six-catch, 140-yard receiving performance against Wisconsin, which also included a touchdown pass.
Ellington's departure leaves the basketball team down one point guard, and the receiving corps with one less weapon in 2014. Ellington finishes his career in football with 106 receptions for 1586 yards and 16 touchdowns, along with the one touchdown pass to Shaw. It's hard to pick his best performance, as he notched two touchdown games in huge Gamecock victories in the Capital One Bowl, over Missouri in double overtime, in a 52-7 blowout win over Arkansas, and against Clemson in a 2012 win.
On the hardwood, Ellington ends a three-and-a-half season career as a full-time leader. He played over 28 minutes a game in each of his three full seasons and represented one of the few mainstays during an otherwise tumultuous time in the history of the program. Overall, he averaged 11.0 points and 2.9 assists in his 81 games in a Gamecock uniform.