The Arizona State Sun Devils secured a major prize in college football recruiting recently when they secured a commitment from wide receiver Ellis Jefferson, of Guyer High in Denton, Texas. He will join Todd Graham in Tempe for the 2013 season and will work to see the field sooner rather than later and utilize his impressive skill set for ASU. So what exactly are the Sun Devils getting in Jefferson?
In short, they’re getting a phenomenal playmaker. Jefferson served as the number two receiver on his Guyer team last season behind Connor Crane, who signed with Stanford in February, but will be the go-to guy this season. At 6-foot-4 and reportedly 200 pounds (and still growing), Jefferson is as big as any linebacker he’ll face in high school, and has developed the mentality to go over the middle without fear. He’ll also use that size to go up and out-muscle defenders for jump balls.
His high school coaches marvel less at Jefferson’s size, however, and more at the amazing speed that accompanies it. While most receivers sacrifice vertical speed for size and physicality, Jefferson has been able to be one of the most physical receivers in his league while still being able to beat almost any cornerback down the field on a fade route. The Guyer coaching staff predicts Jefferson will fill out around 220 pounds, and is as physical as anyone they’ve seen off the line of scrimmage, but he’s still able to effectively stretch the field. During the spring, Jefferson runs the 400 in track (and is very good at it).
His versatility has made him an invaluable weapon to his high school team. His coaches praise the young receiver for being able and willing to do anything they ask him to. He’s able to cover every route in the Guyer playbook, and the coaches don’t hesitate to send him on posts, fades, crossing routes across the middle, or even rocket screens. Once he gets his hands on the ball, his coaches say he’s difficult to deal with.
Jefferson reaching this level was no surprise to his coaches, who saw the raw talent in the receiver from day one. It was up to him to refine that talent, and he’s put in the work to do so. His coaches insist that Jefferson is a prospect that understands the weight room and the importance of the off-season. His work ethic has elevated him to this point, and his coaches say it will take him even further. It’s helped him get noticed, without a doubt, as the wide receiver had reported offers from Colorado, Michigan State, Mississippi State, North Texas, Purdue, San Diego State, Vanderbilt, and Tulsa before ultimately choosing ASU.
Overall, Jefferson has been rated a three-star recruit by Scout.com, who also rank him as the 92nd best wide receiver of his class. The Dallas Morning News recently released their list of the top 100 recruits in Texas, and ranked Jefferson at No. 55 overall and ninth among receivers. With his size and speed, however, he could prove to out-perform those ratings and be a huge asset for the Sun Devils moving forward. It will be up to Todd Graham and his staff now to find ways to utilize the versatile Jefferson and make the most of his numerous talents.
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