Maryland Football: The future is bright for Tino Ellis

Jan 2, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Team Armour
Jan 2, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Team Armour /

Maryland has a ton of depth at the wide receiver position entering the 2015 season.

However, freshman Tino Ellis has a bright future and will attempt to crack the Terrapin rotation.

According to 247Sports, Ellis is the highest rated wideout to sign with Maryland since Juwann Winfree signed back in 2014. Before that, Stefon Diggs was the second best receiver in the 2012 class.

Ellis comes to Maryland with the pedigree of a star after playing his high school football at national powerhouse DeMatha (Md.). He was rated as the No. 53 wideout and the ninth best player in the state of Maryland.

He was also an Under Armour All-American during his time with the Stags.

Ellis is an extremely talented wideout that can line up just about anywhere on the field. His speed and elusiveness allow him to run his routes either from a slot position or on the outside.

Ellis is a guy that thrives on yards after the catch. Once he gets in the open field, there’s few receivers better at getting away from coverage and taking the ball to the end zone.

As a great a route runner and deep threat as Ellis is, one of the stronger areas of his game is his ability to catch the ball in traffic.

Many deep threats, even in the NFL, are minimized once their offense gets the ball into the red zone. Players like DeSean Jackson and even former Terp Torrey Smith are sometimes taken out of the equation in the red zone because they rely on open space.

Ellis is quite different.

He may be 6’1, but he recorded a great deal of receptions on screen passes or short curl routes during his time with the Stags. Ellis uses his speed to create separation between himself and opposing defenders.

As was mentioned above, Ellis is very elusive in the open field and very quick on his feet. If he has even a little crease of space, he can make a move get those extra yards that he needs to move the sticks.

Maryland has a ton of depth at the wide receiver position heading into the 2016 season.

The top of the depth chart should be set in stone with Levern Jacobs and D.J. Moore being the first two options. However, after that, it’s an open competition between wideouts that have put up modest numbers during their careers in College Park.

That group includes Malcolm Culmer, Jahrvis Davenport, Taivon Jacobs, and DeAndre Lane. Maryland also added New Mexico State transfer Teldrick Morgan during the offseason.

Aside from Morgan, none of these wideouts recorded more than 21 receptions or 264 receiving yards last season. Taivon Jacobs caught 21 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns in 2015 to lead the group.

Obviously, recruiting rankings are sometimes invalid when some prospects arrive on a college campus. However, Ellis is as talented a wideout as you’ll see.

Ellis played for one of the most decorated high school programs in the nation and was a superstar during his time there. The physical gifts are clearly there.

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If Ellis has a strong showing in training camp and can crack the rotation, he could be an integral part of Maryland’s offense this season.