This weekend is the last time recruits can visit schools before the early signing period next week, and programs around the country are trying their best to get as many recruits to come visit as they can. And the Vols are well on their way to making this weekend a big-time event prior to next week’s signing period.
Four-star wide receiver Jaylen Ellis has been on Tennessee’s radar for months despite being committed to Baylor for a while. UT’s coaches have stayed in contact with him, and he’s recently been visited by some of Tennessee’s coaches. Ellis tweeted out on Wednesday that he plans on visiting Knoxville this weekend, and it will be an official visit for the 2019 receiver.
#GBO this weekend 🍊
— IV (@J4ylenellis) December 12, 2018
Ellis hails from Round Rock, Texas and plays for Cedar Ridge. He just picked up his fourth star from 247Sports recently, jumping up to the No. 269 overall player and No. 34 wide receiver in the 2019 class. He’s still a three-star in their composite rankings, but there’s a good chance he earns a fourth star before recruiting rankings are finalized.
This weekend won’t just see Ellis in town, though. The Vols are expected to have several highly-rated targets and current commits come to Knoxville, such as four-star running back Noah Cain, four-star Vol commit Roman Harrison, and a few other potential four and five-star surprises.
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The 6-foot, 180-pound receiver has been timed running a 4.39 second 40-yard dash, and he reportedly has a 40-inch vertical. He’s also been timed running a 100-meter dash in 10.4 seconds. Ellis participated in Nike’s The Opening over the summer, and he’s also been 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 seven recorded games on MaxPreps from his senior season at Cedar Ridge, Ellis caught 30 passes for 789 yards and 11 touchdowns, giving him a 26.3 yard per catch average.
The Vols currently only have one wide receiver committed to them in their 2019 class, and that’s four-star Ramel Keyton from Marietta, Georgia. Tennessee is still pursuing several options at the receiver position, but Ellis is one of their top priorities. Other names involved are five-star Jadon Haselwood, four-star Auburn commit George Pickens, and JUCO receiver and Mississippi State commit JaVonta Payton.