Countdown To Gamecocks Kickoff Player Spotlight: Defensive Tackle Jabari Ellis

Since there are just 97 days until the Gamecocks kick off against Eastern Illinois, let’s take a look at Jabari Ellis, who is one of the top returning players on the Carolina defensive line this fall.

Ellis is a redshirt Senior defensive tackle who first started in his Junior year in 2018. The Senior from Vance, S.C. is a former JUCO product from Georgia Military College.

Ellis was a three star recruit out of Lake Marion High School, and he decided to go the JUCO route despite receiving six offers. One of those offers was Miami. In his first two years at Georgia Military College, Ellis was impressive as a run stopper. At 6’3″ and 275 pounds, Ellis has few issues tearing through blocks. He was named to the All-Region team in his sophomore year at GMC.

Ellis was a three star JUCO recruit entering his Junior year. He had offers from N.C. State, East Carolina and South Carolina. He eventually picked the Gamecocks and was recruited by former defensive line coach Lance Thompson.

In 2018, Ellis only played four games, but it let him take advantage of the new redshirt rule. He finished his Junior year with six tackles and one sack. In 2019, he had a slightly better redshirt junior year.

He played in eight games, bit he only started in the Clemson game. It wasn’t easy for Ellis because he was behind and NFL first round pick in Javon Kinlaw. Ellis finished that year with seven tackles and one pass breakup.

With Kinlaw gone, 2020 was a chance for Ellis to start. He started eight games last year, and had a much better year than any of his previous years. He finished the year with 27 tackles and three tackles for loss. Despite being a redshirt senior in 2020, Ellis was able to take advantage of the NCAA’s COVID eligibility rules.

He will be back this fall and will look to contribute on a stacked defensive line. He will play alongside solid defensive linemen like Zacch Pickens, Jordan Burch and Kingsley Enagbare.

Ellis will look to be the key piece on the interior who helps in the run game. He also has a chance this year to make a name for himself and hopefully enter the 2022 draft.

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