Tino Ellis: A Champion, a Stag, and a Terp
What’s up everyone? It’s Tino Ellis again, back with another Recruit Diary. The last time I wrote, my season was in full force and we were heading to yet another state title. We did in fact win the state championship, my third in four years. I want to take this time to discuss my future at Maryland and wrap up my time at DeMatha; hopefully you enjoy the read.
As most of you know, I committed to Maryland over the summer, just before school started. Since then, a lot has change for the football team. Coach Randy Edsall was relieved of his duties as head coach and left the school, and the school hired DJ Durkin as his replacement. Coach Edsall and I had a great relationship, and I actually spoke to him after his termination. I wanted to wish him well in his future endeavors. As a recruit you have to be prepared for any situation and make sure you commit to a school because it is right for you not because of the coach. I definitely committed to the University of Maryland as an institution to further my education and not just because of the football program. Maryland has one of the top criminal justice and law programs in the country. The school is located in the number one job market in the country, the Washington D.C. metro area, and is forty miles away from the number four job market, which is the Baltimore area. I plan on studying law while in school, and there is no better place then UMD, not to mention the school’s alumni is all over the nation and they are leaving their mark in the field I plan to enter after football. I chose Maryland for life after football, and I can honestly say that once I have my degree, I am excited to use it in whatever opportunities that present themselves.
Although I was saddened by the loss of Coach Edsall, I think that Coach Durkin is a great hire for the school. He proved at Michigan that he could handle the pressure of coaching at a big name, Big Ten school. He has begun to breathe new life into the program and has already made a positive impact by hiring amazing new assistant coaches. I have spoken to Coach Durkin on several occasions and each conversation was very upbeat and positive. I have no doubt that he will leave a great mark on the program and will lead us to new heights. Because of the coaching changes and all the speculation that has been around the program, there have been rumors about me looking elsewhere and thinking of decommitting. I want to say right now that there is no truth to those rumors and I couldn’t be happier to be committed to my dream school, the University of Maryland. I also want to say that while I cannot wait to get on campus, I will not be enrolling early. I will be part of the class of 2016, a special class that will help contribute to the team from the start. The class overall has a ton of amazing talent, but there is also a lot of talent on the current roster too. It is going to be great to see all us come together and the final product will be something you don’t want to miss. We are going to have playmakers on both sides of the ball. I played both ways at DeMatha, and I can’t say I haven’t thought about playing both ways in college. I would love to play offense, defense, special teams, everything; but wherever I am needed and asked to play, I will be ready contribute and help the team win.
My time as a DeMatha Stag football player has finally come to an end, and it was the best four years I could have asked for. Playing high school football was everything I thought it would be and more, way more. I played in four state-championship games, and won three of them. Not to bad, if I have to say so myself. The state game this year was really fun. We won the game, and it was played at Maryland. It was kind of a sneak peak for what’s to come for myself and future UMD teammate Lorenzo Harrison. We ended the season 11-1, but if I could go back and change one thing, it would have to be the lost to Gonzaga. Even though we won the championship, that loss knocked us out of contention for the national championship. The Class of 2016 for both basketball and football were prepared to win national championships. So as far as the football, I feel as though we may have let some people down. As my time at DeMatha is winding down, I want to say that I am so thankful to have attended this school. I would like to thank my teachers, administrators, coaches, and both current and former teammates for pushing me to be the best I can be both athletically and academically. To the future DeMatha athletes I have a message for you: Expectations are high on and off the field, court, mat etc. You all have big shoes to fill. Always remember, One DeMatha!
When I was approached about working with RecruitDiaries and spoke to Evan about the concept and the idea that was behind the site, I was hooked. I thought it might be a good idea to tell my own story and that maybe it could help future recruits who go through similar situations. The concept behind the site is amazing. Giving recruits an outlet and a voice is something that was not really heard of before this. Sure there are interviews, but it is nowhere near the same thing. I have been given an outlet that allows for me to share my story, my experiences, and most importantly, it allows me to be creative. I think more recruits need an outlet like this because too much of the time they have remarkable experiences and are not able to share them with the world. RecruitDiaries has allowed me and other recruits to shed light on the highs and lows of recruitment.
Make sure to check out all the rest of the player diaries and be sure to come back often. Follow me on Twitter @IamTinoEllis to get updates on my season and also follow @RecruitDiaries to get updates about when all the diaries are posted. GO TERPS!!