Though he’s been committed to Baylor since June of last year, wide receiver Jaylen Ellis has still been contacted by many schools and has kept in contact with several of those programs as well. Tennessee is one of those schools, and Ellis included the Vols as one of his finalists moving forward in his recruitment.
It’s not often a currently committed player releases a list of top schools, but Ellis’ recruitment hasn’t been a normal one. He’s blown up since committing to Baylor last year, but he still wants to keep ties with the Bears. Regardless, he released a list of top six schools on Twitter on Tuesday night, and the Vols made the cut along with Baylor, Houston, Michigan, Cal, and Arizona.
— IV (@J4ylenellis) October 24, 2018
Tennessee’s coaching staff sent out an offer to Ellis back in May, and the two sides have been in contact ever since then. Ellis said back in July that Jeremy Pruitt is “always texting him,” and he planned to come to Knoxville for a visit this past weekend during the Alabama game. Those plans didn’t work out, however, but he’s still planning on making a trip over to Tennessee after his senior season is over.
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Ellis hails from Round Rock, Texas and plays for Cedar Ridge. According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, he’s the No. 557 overall player and No. 71 receiver in the country. He’s been timed running a 4.39 second 40-yard dash, and he participated in Nike’s The Opening over the summer. He was also invited to the All-American Bowl.
On the field, Ellis’ game-changing speed is what immediately stands out. He can take the top off a defense. At 6-foot, 180 pounds, he is strong enough to beat physical press coverage at the line of scrimmage, and that’s a deadly combination along with his speed for opposing defenses because it makes it nearly impossible to stop him in man coverage without an elite corner. He can single-handedly change the game plan and alignment of the defense, which can change games for his team. He is a crisp route runner, and he has sure hands.
In six recorded games during his senior season, Ellis has caught 25 passes for 676 yards and eight touchdowns according to MaxPreps. He’s averaging 27 yards per reception on the year.
Tennessee is pursuing several speedy players at the receiver position right now, and Ellis is one of them. JaVonta Payton is a JUCO receiver who just decommitted from Ole Miss after his visit to Knoxville, and Tennessee is also pursuing four-stars Khafre Brown and Jalen Curry. The Vols are also expected to be in contention with Oklahoma State grad transfer receiver Jalen McCleskey this offseason too.
Right now, the Vols have just one wide receiver committed to them in the 2019 class. Four-star Georgia receiver Ramel Keyton is Tennessee’s lone receiver commitment in this cycle so far.
RTI contributor Charley Collier also contributed to this article