While scouts try to focus their attention on senior prospects, they notice when underclassmen quickly stand out against SEC competition. Considering that Ellington proved a difference-maker at receiver and returner while also juggling starting point guard duties for the Gamecocks' basketball team is an entirely different testament to his extraordinary athleticism. Ellington didn't play football his first season in Columbia but earned Freshman All-SEC honors as an all-purpose weapon in 2011, playing in all 13 games (starting two), posting 806 total yards and two touchdowns as a receiver, returner and Wildcat quarterback. His numbers weren't eye-popping the past two seasons but he paced the Gamecocks in catches (89), receiving yards (1,375) and touchdown grabs (15) during that time. He also showed a flair for the dramatic, including a career-high 139 receiving yards and three touchdowns scored in his final game, a Capital One Bowl victory over Wisconsin. Ellington is shorter than scouts would prefer and lacks polish in some of the most elementary phases of playing wide receiver. He is tough, instinctive and cat-quick, however, making him one of more intriguing slot receiver and return specialists of the 2014 draft. Ellington, who graduated in December, announced Jan. 4 he would begin preparing for the draft and would not complete his final season with the men's basketball team. "I would like to thank Coach (Steve) Spurrier, Coach Horn and Coach Martin for giving me the opportunity to play both football and basketball at South Carolina," said Ellington. "I also want to thank all the Gamecock fans and my teammates for the past four years in Columbia. It's been a great experience and I've been truly blessed."
Ellington is capable of playing as a slot receiver as well as bring a returner on punts and kickoffs. The 5-9, 197 pound WR will be a quick burst of speed in the open field and should be a part-time weapon for screen passes.
The 49ers will be drafting next at 129th overall in the fourth round.