Mississippi State picked up its highest rated commitment of the year today when Jackson (Miss.) Lanier defensive tackle Louis Ellis (6-foot-3, 293 pounds, 4.8-second 40-yard dash) decided to cast his lot with State. While long considered an MSU lean, he decided to make it official today and to follow his cousin, Monta Ellis to Starkville in the fall.
"For one thing I like the coaches and I know they are having a bad season right now, but I am not worried about that," Louis commented on his decision to become a Bulldog. "I go through my ups and downs and they go through their ups and downs.
"I have been through my ups and downs this year, my senior year, so I know they can rebuild, and I know I can go there and help them out. I also like them being close to home." Ellis chose the Bulldogs over offers from Ole Miss, LSU, Memphis, Oklahoma State, USM, and Marshall.
An early spring commitment to Ole Miss, Ellis recanted his pledge later in the summer after further evaluation. He has considered his new oath from every possible angle and has no reservations about his latest decision.
"I am sure this time," he said. "I am positive about this. There is no going back on it."
While Ellis had considered visiting MSU unofficially last weekend, he opted to stay in Jackson to watch his cousin - fellow MSU commitment Monta Ellis play basketball.
"I stayed at home this weekend," he said. "Monta, he had a game, and I wanted to see him play." The camaraderie between the cousins was a big factor in Louis' decision.
"It had a whole lot to do with it," he explained. "We grew up together and do everything together."
Ellis is scheduled tentatively to visit MSU officially on Jan. 15, but is also being considered for an all-star game on the same day. He is waiting to see how that works out before making any firm plans and may be forced to move his trip to Starkville to the next weekend.
Ellis is also not sure where he will playing in college, but will definitely play on the defensive line. The specific position is not something he is concerned about.
"They said tackle or end," he said. "They just said on the d-line. It doesn't matter where they put me on the d-line. It doesn't matter at all. As long as they put me on the d-line, I am going to produce for them."
While grades have been a question throughout his high school career, Ellis has taken steps to help him reach the next level. He feels his efforts are paying off.
"I have improved a whole lot this year," he said. "I have a tutor, and if I have a problem she helps me out and that has helped me a whole lot this year."