Ellis is a candidate to potentially come to town next weekend unofficially. He plans to OV here in December. But if Payton wants in, the Vols aren’t going to turn him down, meaning they’re likely done at the position unless it becomes a best-player-available type of take.
They could continue to recruit Ellis as an athlete (similar skills to Bryce Thompson) and could slot him on the other side of the ball depending on how the rest of the 2019 class shakes out.
Elsewhere, Tennessee was in Texas to see Jaylen Ellis on Sunday. Ellis has a couple of official visits left to take including Baylor where he is committed. Ellis and wide receivers coach David Johnson have built a good bond and the first year Vol assistant has also gotten tight with his family. So when might Ellis take an official? It certainly appears likely with the last weekend most likely.
“They want the speed,” Ellis told VolQuest. “Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt has preached it and coach Johnson really talks to me about. He says all the time you can’t teach speed. But I already have it, so they can use it.” Johnson went in-home with Ellis and his family Sunday. The wideout said there’s not a day that goes by when he doesn’t hear from someone on Tennessee’s staff, noting, “It’s really good to know that someone is that invested in me.” Still, meeting Johnson in person finally was big. “It went really smooth, actually,” Ellis said.
“He was really cool. My family really loved meeting him. They talked to him the whole time. It was literally like a family get together. I had most of my family there. We were all just having our Thanksgiving that we really didn’t get to have together. He was a part of that. It went really well.”
“I will be taking an official to Tennessee the weekend of the 14th,” he said. “It’s really big for me. It’s actually my last one. I will be taking that and then I’ll have to choose.” Baylor, Michigan and Texas are all still in play for the All-American, who plans to make his final announcement at the game on January 5. He will then sign with his school of choice in February.
The Vols currently have just one wideout committed in their 2019 class (4-star Ramel Keyton) and they’re pitching a chance to compete for early playing time with Ellis. That’s a message that resonates well with the speedster who said, “It’s huge because that’s the plan. I want to go somewhere where I can play immediately. That’s the biggest draw. That’s really why I chose certain schools I did because that’s where I feel like I’m going to get that opportunity to play.”
So what makes him interested in Tennessee right now? “It’s the biggest football you’re going to get. SEC football is huge. What coach Pruitt could do, I like coach Johnson. Meeting him was big,” Ellis said. “Then the playing time. It’s one of the biggest things I like about Tennessee, and I know it’s going to come. That’s my main (attraction).”
Football "fast" and track "fast" are two different things, and two tenths of a second doesn't actually seem to mean that much when you think of it over the span of 50+ plays in pads during a football game. It's a good reference point, but I think it gets obsessed over a little too much.