SANTEE, S.C. — South Carolina is very much in play for defensive tackle Jabari Ellis, the No. 9 overall junior college prospect in the 2018 recruiting class.
Ellis is 6-foot-2, 286 pounds and a rising sophomore at Georgia Military College. His offer sheet includes Colorado, East Carolina, Georgia State and North Carolina State. The entire Florida coaching staff now follows him on Twitter, so SEC offer No. 2 could soon be on the way.
For now, he lists South Carolina and North Carolina State as his favorites. The Gamecocks had Ellis on campus twice this year, first in February and again in April for the spring game.
“I’m trying to get up there before I go back [to Georgia Military College] on June 4. I’m trying to get on campus again, but my visit, I’m scheduling [another] visit sometime in June,” Ellis said.
His first visit to N.C. State is also planned for next month.
“N.C. State is a great opportunity, as well as South Carolina,” Ellis said. “They’ve got four guys graduating, just like South Carolina has guys graduating. Just the opportunity. It’s a great opportunity.”
Proximity is working in South Carolina’s favor. Columbia is about an hour from Santee, where Ellis attended Lake Marion High School.
“Close to home, great program, I actually like the coaching staff,” Ellis said.
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp and defensive line coach Lance Thompson are in contact daily.
“They mainly just talk to me about coming in and doing everything I want as a player, developing my game and hopefully having a career after college, going to the NFL,” Ellis said.
According to the 247Sports composite rankings, Ellis is the No. 3 JUCO defensive tackle in the 2018 recruiting class. As a freshman at Georgia Military, he had 14 tackles and a sack in 11 games.
South Carolina remains in pursuit of Dorian Gerald, a junior college defensive end from West Florence (S.C.) High School. Alabama, Florida State and Louisville also made offers to Gerald, a rising sophomore from College of the Canyons (Calif.).
The Gamecocks signed four top 100 JUCO prospects in the 2017 cycle: defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw (10), defensive back Keisean Nixon (18), offensive tackle Dennis Daley (50) and defensive back Kaleb Chalmers (64).