Keep an eye on Ellis
Stating the obvious: Checking in at 6-feet-3, 230 pounds gives a middle school player a decided advantage over his competition.
But Henderson Middle's Zamari Ellis' frame would be impressive on the high school level and even the next depending on the position.
Ellis lines up at tight end and as a slot receiver for the Rams in addition to playing linebacker on defense.
Ellis had one touchdown grab Tuesday in Henderson Middle's 46-22 win over crosstown rival Eaton-Johnson, camping out under a lob pass and snatching it with two hands in the end zone over a couple of Cougar defenders.
The agile Ellis was most impressive in the blocking game, paving gaping holes for the Rams' offensive backfield — to be expected for someone with his size advantage.
“He’s a big, physical kid and he’s athletic,” said HMS head coach Travis Oliver. “He’s got a bright future. I just want to get him fundamentally sound, get ready to go to high school and be successful.”
Oliver spent time coaching in college at N.C. A&T and Morgan State.
“I took him to a college football game a couple of weeks ago just to kind of show him the atmosphere," Oliver said of the 13-year-old eighth-grader. "I knew some of the coaches and they came up to him and thought he was a senior in high school. They were ready to recruit him right away.”
He can wait a while for that. In the meantime, Southern Vance is getting a nice addition for next season.