Varsity Preps

Under-the-Radar: 2014 LB/FB Tom “TJ” Ellison, Ft. Lauderdale HS

2014 LB Tom “TJ” Ellison (6’0, 200, 4.65) of Ft. Lauderdale High in Florida is a true under-the-radar talent. Paired with fellow linebacker Jaboree Williams (6’1, 215, Wake Forest), Ft. Lauderdale will bring a physical presence to match any rushing attack they’ll face this season.

Last season, Ellison recorded 60 total tackles and three sacks at Burke Co. High in Georgia. He told Varsity Preps he doesn’t have any offers or any interest currently, but is determined to play college football.

photo: @MBVarsityPreps

photo: @MBVarsityPreps

“It doesn’t matter what program I play for, as long as I get an opportunity to continue my football career and get an education.”

Eillson attended the Clear Vision Clear Dreams camp held at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach last month.

“There was a lot of competition and I got to audition in front of college coaches. Everything went well there, it was a great experience.”

FLHS’s new outside backer reported that things are moving along quickly in preparations for the 2013 season.

“I feel like I’ve improved my focus and man coverage skills, and I’ve picked up the playbook on offense and defense.”

Head coach Richard Dunbar, according to Ellison, has been working the team hard in conditioning drills.

“We’ve been running a lot, getting our conditioning level where it needs to be. Our goal is to be in position to make a run at the district championship and advance in the state playoffs.”

Coach Dunbar couldn’t be more excited for his new outside linebacker.

“Sometimes when I drive by the practice field after workouts TJ, Jaboree, and DT Darrell Beard (6’2, 322) are doing extra work. That’s really encouraging to see. But as far as busting gaps, making tackles, and displaying closing speed, Ellison has it all,” Dunbar pointed out. “We ran a toss sweep to the opposite side of the field from where he was lined up, and he tackled our running back three yards behind the line of scrimmage. I knew then we had a player.”

There is some college interest in Ellison from a couple of local programs.

“I sent his film to FAU and FIU, and there’s some interest there,” Dunbar shared. “We’ll see how he plays against South Florida competition, but he’s originally from this area, is related to Beard, but Ellison’s humble and just loves the game.”

Ft. Lauderdale will square off against Golden Gate, a Kickoff Classic game next Friday at Dillard. Kickoff is slated for 7 pm. Varsity Preps will cover the game.

Dunbar is excited to see not only his seniors, but his defense in action next Friday night.

“I’m really excited about next Friday, and not just because of Ellison, Williams, and Beard, but my defense is hungry. I have some players knocking the teeth out of peoples’ mouths. I think we’ll open up some eyes next week.”

— Michael Bradley




One Comment

  1. Jodi Morris

    August 24, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Tom Ellison is also one of the nicest kids around. Always has a smile on his face and ready to help and motivate others. So many at Burke were saddened to hear he moved but are excited to see he is already a standout there as he was here. You helped Burke Co win our first football state championship and you have the ring to prove it. Now do it there and make us proud kid!!!

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