2018 QB Commit DeJuan Ellis Shows Off Blazing Speed at Nike Camp, Eyes Hokies' QB Battle

The 2018er is headed for a packed field at QB next season, though his elite speed could set him apart.


Of all Virginia Tech's young quarterbacks, most eyes this weekend were on Hendon Hooker as he made a big statement during the spring game — look a little bit further north of Blacksburg, however, and 2018 QB commit DeJuan Ellis put up some impressive stats of his own.

Just a day after Hooker raised eyebrows with his efficient showing guiding the offense in the intrasquad scrimmage, Ellis headed to a prestigious Nike regional camp at Northern Virginia's Centreville HS on Sunday to compete for a shot at heading to the vaunted "The Opening" event later this year.

While Ellis didn't quite meet that lofty standard — that honor was reserved for RB Ricky Slade, DL Taron Vincent, DB A.J. Lytton and ATH Mychale Salahuddin — he still managed to prove to be the fastest man of the hundreds of campers in attendance. The McDonogh HS signal caller posted a 4.48-second 40-yard dash, a slight improvement over his similarly swift time last year, and managed to beat the two other fastest athletes in attendance in a foot race.

He even ranked as the third highest rated athlete at the entire camp, another jump from his stellar showing in 2016.

But, even with all he has going on at the moment, Ellis told The Key Play that he's closely watching the QB battle down in Blacksburg, since he could be joining it soon enough.

In particular, he was impressed by what he saw from Hooker, acknowledging that it was quite the positive sign indeed for his chances that Justin Fuente, OC Brad Cornelsen and company seem so willing to give a young QB a chance.

"If you want it, you're gonna go get it, and that's what he's doing," Ellis said. "He's working hard, he's grinding, and that's a good mindset. He's young, but he doesn't care, he still wants it."

That impressive spring game statement aside, he fully expects the other QBs to have a chance to seize the starting spot, and he isn't sure who to expect to see under center by the time he gets on campus.

"It's getting hectic down there, between Hendon, A.J. (Bush) and Josh (Jackson)," Ellis said. "Hopefully, someone pulls it out."

Ellis is certainly wouldn't be so interested in the shuffling of the QB depth chart if it didn't have such a direct impact on his future. If Hooker, a true freshman, earns the job, he'd presumably have it locked up for the rest of his Tech career. As a redshirt freshman, Jackson isn't exactly an old man either.

Complicating matters further is that the Hokies are bringing two QBs on board in the 2018 class, in Ellis and Quincy Patterson of Chicago's Solorio Academy. When Ellis committed to Tech last August, he surely couldn't have anticipated this confluence of factors, as set in motion by Jerod Evans' sudden jump to the NFL.

As of now, Ellis says he hasn't met Patterson just yet, though he's heard good things after the QB put on a show of his own at the Windy City "Opening" regional camp. But he expects the pair will have quite a fight on their hands when they arrive in Blacksburg, no matter who wins the starting job this year.

"Just work hard, that's it," Ellis said of the competition before him next season. "It's the main thing you have to do to win anything, to work hard and to want it. So I'm definitely going to work hard, and it's gonna be a great competition for the both of us."

Even with all that in the back of his mind, Ellis still likes his odds, considering what he's heard from Cornelsen, in particular. He says he texts with his future offensive coordinator and position coach "almost every day," and he's hearing nothing but positives so far.

"He says I'm a great fit, they've told me that from day one," Ellis said. "He tells me to just keep reading defenses, keep getting your footwork right, keep working defenses with your eyes and you'll be alright."

With sub-4.5 speed, Ellis certainly has the athleticism to become a contender for the job right away. But at 5'11" and 160 pounds, the 3-star prospect (as rated by the 247Sports Composite rankings) doesn't have prototypical size.

Yet Ellis still has plenty of time to work out the details with the Hokies, and he plans to make plenty more visits to Blacksburg to ease his transition into the program. He estimates it's been "about two months" since he last got to campus, and he's hoping to change that sooner rather than later.

"I'm missing coming down there," Ellis said. "So I'll definitely be down. I've got to get some stuff straight with the administration, so I'll get down there soon."


Wishing we had the same competition going on with the O line.

Where is Click?!

Although it's good we don't have three starting OL on the roster with two more coming next year.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

That last line will send everyone into a tizzy

Great read ! I hope he stays on board .We have a lot of young qbs lots of competition

But at 5'11" and 160 pounds,

I have the feeling he is going to have a tough time beating out the bigger QBs in the room. Good luck to the young man, but wonder if he will decide to stay as a QB recruit come Feb.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

Put 20 pounds on him and move him to corner

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Put 20 pounds on him and move him to corner

I pictured him sulking in a corner with a 20 lb dumbbell strapped around his neck.

Let's just spend $25M rebuilding him with bionics and adding cheesy sound effects. Then he'd be unstoppable at any position.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I'd rather see him as a receiver

Him and Farley lined up on both sides would be sweet.

I am not sure anybody is locking up the QB spot, I think Fuente is going to have them competing for that spot every year.

As he should. Saban has Hurts competing to keep his spot from a true freshman right now

To be fair Hurts isn't exactly a world beater QB.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I'm sure losing the national championship game Hurts his chances

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

It's been a long time since I've seen Bama develop a QB over their career. They get top players and the QB's stay at that level supported by outstanding RB, WR and line play.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

2800 yards passing, over 60% completion, and another 1k on the ground with 36 tds as a true freshman isn't good anymore?

As someone who watched most of the Bama games this year he was actually very impressive as a football player. He certainly has room to improve as a true QB, but most of the criticisms you will see are from people watching the last 3 games plus the LSU game. The last three games of the season (SECCG and playoffs) they inexplicably handicapped the shit out of him despite opening up the playbook and trusting him to throw more throughout the season leading up to that point. They went ultra-conservative and ultimately paid for it against Clemson. They win that game comfortably if they take half of those screens/LOS throws and turn those into slants/comebacks/curls/sticks and let him throw it. Additionally, LSU was one of the best defenses in the country, absolutely no doubt whatsoever. They made Louisville and Lamar look like children, the same team that put up 600 yards on Clemson on the road.

Too bad NCAA doesn't count yards after catch, would be a great way to compare. Hurts QBR is lower than Evans would you consider Evans a world beater?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Evans was number 6 in the country in total yards... How many QBs do you think are great? All college Qbs are going to rack up yards on short completions so I don't know what your point is there.

Evans was close to a top 10 QB in the country last year (in no order Jackson, Watson, Mayfield, Darnold, Browning, Mahomes, Rudolf, Trubisky, Evans, McSorley) , and Hurts as a true freshman was probably top 15. "Wasn't exactly a world beater" is entirely too harsh for an 18 year old.

When the implication was "even a great player" has competition it's a fair statement. Why wouldn't another talented QB that Saban beings in provide him competition? It's not like he played so well that he can't be unseated at that starting spot.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

The majority of Clemson's offense is either deep balls or short passes/screens. Deshaun Watson once had a game where he had over 150ish passing yards on forward tosses behind the LOS. It's just a major part of any college offense these days, especially spread offenses.

One of you recruiting gurus, do the guys who did get the invite to the opening have offers from Tech?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

This guy named Ellis has one.

I'm now a recruiting guru.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic.

Ellis didn't get invited to the opening. That was just the regional camp

I am no longer a recruiting guru.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic.

But what a magic time it was.

Slade did obviously. The other rb Salahuddin (http://247sports.com/Player/Mychale-Salahuddin-78729) does but he looks like a guy that doesn't care for staying local after he started getting big offers like USC. Vincent is the number 1 DT in the country and does have an offer from us (OSU commit). Lytton is the last guy, but he's never given much of a look either. Looks like a FSU/OSU/Bama kind of guy

247 Write-up

So 247 posted this article yesterday on The DC Opening and while I'll mention it on the recruiting thread I thought it could go here too. Their article actually mentioned one kid that I wanted to bring up who (according to 247) edged out Ellis on the 40. Chris Tyree, an all purpose back from VA in the 2020 class, ran a 4.47 laser timed 40. Yep you heard me right. HE IS A FRESHMAN. Here's what 247 had to say about him...


1. Chester (Va.) Thomas Dale 2020 running back Chris Tyree ran the fastest 40-time at the event, a laser-timed 4.47. Combine that with the elusiveness we saw in cat and mouse, a smooth, very shifty playmaker that will be one of the country's most highly-recruited prospects in his class. Tyree grew up liking Virginia Tech, was recently offered by Florida State and visited Maryland on Saturday.

According to 247 he's been sitting on an offer from us for almost a year already. Something tells me we'll be following his recruitment Devon Hunter style over the next several years.

Sometimes I like to leave off the /s just to mess with people.

What are the chances this guy actually stays at QB?

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

Virtually none unless Lawson transfers

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

Best use of Lawson motif this month. Leg for skating on thin ice without getting wet.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru

I wouldn't write him off at QB at all. Kid can play...+ arm; +++mobility. He could be what Marcus should have been.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

He could be what Marcus should have been.

A decent human being?

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

I just looked over at 247 and he is now classified as an Athlete...

I recall seeing an article before he committed that said he wanted to go to a place where he would QB. A lot can change...

At great risk of being that guy...it's McDonogh School. Not McDonogh High School. Upper School would refer to the "high school" but the school itself is just McDonogh. Looks like several other recruiting sites have it wrong. It's a mistake on par with calling VT, Virginia Tech University. The snobby privileged jackwads that go there (or went there) would take serious offense.

There...I'm that guy. :-)

Leg for being willing to suffer as "that guy."

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru

being a martyr has never felt so conflicting.

I'm just amused you are standing up for a bunch of privileged jackwads.

This GIF has so many layers of Hoo despair to it. I end up laughing harder every time I see it repeat. The most obvious being the woman trying to convince them to actual cheer, the girl next to her ignoring her, the little girl in the row behind her looking at the woman like she's crazy, the man to her right and the woman 2 seats to her left staring into the loser's abyss. There's even a fan laying down sideways having been overwhelmed by the amount of losing. Just fantastic.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Agreed- I'm alone laughing out loud at all the funny stuff!

Is the guy in the "fan" shirt behind her getting the puke bucket ready because of her, or the game?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I've never noticed the person (appears to be a kid) laying down on the seats before. Makes the gif even better.

The subject of the gif appears to be the type of person that gets her in-game analysis from John Madden.

"Jerod Evans had more moves on that run than Bayer has aspirin!"

-Mike Burnop, 9/24/2016

Is it just me, or is she chanting "chick fight..."?

All of a sudden, I found myself in love with the world
So there was only one thing that I could do
Was ding a ding, dang my dang a long ling long....

could swear she is yelling "harder together"

Well now that's all I can see her saying.