by Courtney Maciasz
October 7, 2009 – While some college recruits have called the recruiting process a hassle at times, The Dunham School’s Collin Ellis feels quite the opposite.
“It has been really fun. It’s something I’ve never done before, and it’s just been a real pleasure,” Ellis stated.Perhaps Ellis doesn’t feel the pressure other recruits face, having already committed to play outside linebacker for the Northwestern University Wildcats, just outside of Chicago. In the meantime, Ellis said he wants to stay focused on staying healthy and helping contribute to his team’s success.
At press time, the Dunham Tigers are 4-1 with their one loss coming from a 28-0 rout by St. John of Plaquemine.
“Five of our starters weren’t able to play because they weren’t feeling good,” Ellis explained. “That was unfortunate. So, this week we are going to bounce back and continue to roll.”
It is evident Ellis is modest, yet confident. He’s certain when he speaks, and these characteristics have garnered the attention of his coaches and teammates by being named one of the Tigers’ team captains.
“Leadership is important in football. You want your school to rally around you. It’s hard to go out there and not have anyone to look up to or get your source of energy from,” Ellis stated.
Ellis says he took notes on leadership as a sophomore from then senior running back Drew Miller.
“We looked to him to get our swagger. Last year we didn’t have many seniors. This year, I feel like I need to fill that role for the younger guys,” said Ellis.
The road to gridiron glory hasn’t been one without a few bumps along the way for the avid fisherman and hunter. Though Ellis grew up playing football, a sport which he professes his love for, he spent part of his freshman year as a spectator in the stands watching his Tiger teammates.
When Ellis was in junior high school he broke his foot twice playing football. During this time, he had also honed in on his golf game skills. Once his freshman year rolled around at The Dunham School, Ellis opted not to join the football team. His decision turned out to be one he clearly regretted.
“I was watching the games about halfway through the season, and I was sad because I realized I wanted to play,” he remarked.
Dunham head football coach Joey Thibodeaux was one of Ellis’ biggest supporters. Eventually, Ellis was cleared to play the sport he sorely missed. Unfortunately, injury seemed to follow the freshman.
“I finally go out there, and the first day I break my arm,” Ellis said with a laugh.
This time the injury did not discourage the talented athlete.
“It only made me want to go back out there even more,” he said.
There’s no arguing Ellis is “back out there.” Coming from a family with an athletic bloodline that includes his grandfather, Bill Ray, a former offensive lineman for LSU, and a great uncle, Jim Ray, a former running back for LSU, Ellis is an explosive athlete for his Tigers as well. He can be found playing safety and linebacker on the defensive side of the ball, and when it comes to offense he spends his time at running back, wide receiver, and quarterback, where he runs the Wildcat.