After being a free agent for just under a month, former Gamecock Bruce Ellington will continue his NFL career with the 2019 Super Bowl Champions: the New England Patriots.
He attributes his five years in the NFL to the time he spent at South Carolina.
"Just being here as a Gamecock and playing football and basketball, the fans, the coaches, everybody, even y’all, it was a great time,” Ellington told The State.
Ellington was a Gamecock from 2010-2014 and spent three years during his time at South Carolina playing football and basketball. He is from Moncks Corner, South Carolina, where he began his career as an athlete at Berkeley High School. As a high school senior, he was named the South Carolina Coaches Association 4A Player of the Year and was a four star prospect for basketball.
As a freshman at South Carolina, Ellington started in 30 basketball games and was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team while under head coach Frank Martin. During his football career at South Carolina, he had a total of 106 catches and 1,586 receiving yards.
In 2014, Ellington was drafted to the NFL in the fourth round. Since then he's been with three NFL teams, spending two seasons each with the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans. His last season was with the Detroit Lions, where he was cut after being placed on injury reserve on Dec. 22, 2018.
Having just signed a one year contract with New England, Ellington can fit the mold of other successful Patriot slot receivers such as Wes Welker, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman. The Patriots often utilize crossing routes from their slot receivers.
His versatility as a kick returner will also help Ellington in his new spot on the team. He has a total of 1,279 yards as a kick returner between the three teams over the last four years.
Ellington will be joining his former South Carolina teammate Stephon Gilmore in New England. Gilmore played his last season with the Gamecocks in 2011, when Ellington started his freshman year.
Ellington will join a strong receiving core on the Patriots after practicing with the squad during an off-season workout this week.