Photo Credit: Liam Sment
El Ellis has emerged as one of the top JUCO prospects in the 2021 class with Virginia Tech becoming the latest program to offer the talented point guard recently.
El Ellis told us that he was "excited" to receive an offer from Virginia Tech in part because of the Hokies' "good coaching staff." Ellis received the call via a phone call with head coach Mike Young and assistant Chester Frazier, a conversation that went quite well as a whole as he told us.
"They talked to me about how good of a player and they have a really good opportunity for me there," Ellis said.
A Virginia Tech offer seemed inevitable for Ellis as he told us less than a week before receiving his offer that he'd been having very good conversations with VT. In particular, the Hokies were making the message clear that Ellis was seen as someone who could come in instantly and make a difference for Tech coming out of the JUCO ranks.
"They have been really well. They have expressed that they want an experienced guard like myself to come in and make an impact from the first day I get there to be a leader and run the show," Ellis said.
Additionally, Ellis feels he would fit in well at Virginia Tech largely due to how the Hokies trust their guards.
"I feel like the way I play I can fit in any type of program! Virginia Tech lets there guards play!" Ellis said.
There's no doubt that Ellis could be an instant difference maker and potential immediate starter at point guard for the Hokies to replace a graduated Wabissa Bede in the 2021-22 season. That could be a major boost for the Hokies' hopes in their pursuit of Ellis who told us that he's looking for "a school I could go to right away, and be a leader and play."
His play at Tallahassee Community College this past season showed he can do just that as Ellis averaged 14.3 points, 4.5 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.5 turnovers in 27.6 minutes per game. More notably, Ellis was efficient on the offensive end shooting 47.9% overall from the field, 40.3% from three-point range, and 84.5% from the free-throw line. Because of his strong season, Ellis earned NJCAA Second Team All-American honors, becoming the first freshman in his program's history to earn All-American honors.
Unsurprisingly, that has led to a very strong offer list that, in addition to the Hokies, includes Louisville, N.C. State, Texas A&M, UCONN, Iowa State, Wichita State, Wake Forest, Arizona State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, DePaul, and more.
Now usually during this time of year, Ellis would be taking visits all over the country with his JUCO season wrapped up and the college basketball season over. Though the COVID-19 pandemic is preventing him from doing that, he is getting to take virtual visits with multiple schools hosting him for such this week including Virginia Tech as he shared this schedule with us.
- 4/20: Iowa State
- 4/21: UCONN
- 4/22: Virginia Tech
- 4/23: Wake Forest
- 4/24: Texas
Looking ahead, Ellis told us that he may have a better idea about his timeline to make a decision after the summer JUCO events should they happen as scheduled.
With Wabissa Bede graduating after this upcoming season and Jalen Cone seeming better fit for a Seth Allen like off-the-ball role, point guard is a big priority not only to bring in one from the high school ranks, but also a quality, immediate starter from the JUCO ranks or via transfer. El Ellis clearly fits that bill and is undoubtedly poised to be a primary target regardless of position for the Hokies going forward in the 2021 recruiting cycle.