Signee: Jordan Ellis
Running Back, Suwanee (GA) Peachtree Ridge
5-foot-11, 216 pounds
Other offers: Ellis chose Virginia over offers from Miami (Ohio) and Western Kentucky, as well as interest from Georgia Tech, Arkansas and others throughout his senior season.
How he chose UVa: After UVa became the first school to offer Ellis back in May, the Cavaliers immediately became the favorite to land the Peach State running back. Ellis soon picked up offers from Miami (Ohio) and Western Kentucky but his recruitment ended when he visited Charlottesville in early June. Ellis returned to UVa several more times and those subsequent trips just reinforced what he loved about the university on his first visit. When other schools, including the Yellow Jackets, made a run at him during the season, he was both flattered and unmoved.
Ellis became the first of two commitments for Virginia in this class (joined by Darious Lattimore). Vincent Brown led the recruitment of Ellis, and even after Brown departed for a job at UConn, Ellis remained firm in his commitment to the Wahoos. The Peachtree Ridge tailback became the seventh player to commit to Mike London during his tenure as coach.
Ellis said when he committed that Virginia offered the "perfect fit" for him, citing the balance between academics and athletics that the university offers.
Why he matters: For starters, Ellis had a monster season and was one of the the most productive running backs in the nation as a senior. In 2013, He rushed for just over 1,700 yards and scored 30 touchdowns, doing it against some of the best competition in the country. Ellis was a big part of Peachtree Ridge's turnaround from a few disappointing seasons, helping them get back to the playoffs in his final high school season.
At Virginia, Ellis probably won't be asked to play right away. With all of the running backs returning next season for the Hoos, a redshirt year is probably in order. But he has shown flashes of potential in the last year, and could end up being a Kevin Parks-type, between the tackles rusher at the next level.
Five years from now, we may look back and realize that Ellis was the steal of UVa's 2014 class.
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