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Ellington returns to South Carolina football

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm •  Published: March 28, 2013

Martin said Ellington's hinted when asked by the media about picking one sport over the other for "three straight years. Last time I checked he's played both every year. I think Bruce likes to have some fun with you guys. Bruce is a competitor. He's a special kid in both sports."

Ellington worked out with Gamecock receivers before the team held a scrimmage, but didn't participate because head coach Spurrier wanted to give his younger guys some seasoning.

When the regular season starts, however, expect Ellington to be in the middle of things for Spurrier's passing attack. Ellington wants to become more of a leader this fall, too.

"Last year, I said some things but this year I'm trying to step up and be a better leader than I was, just go out and do the things I did last year," he said.

Ellington found it simpler to transition from basketball to football than the other way around. "With basketball you've got to do that all year round," he said. "But in football, if you're an athlete and can catch and run, you can learn really well and that will help you out."

Ellington's also thrived under two of the SEC's biggest personalities in Spurrier and Martin.

"Coach Spurrier yells every now and then, but coach Martin, he gets after you," Ellington said. "I'm kind of used to it now."

Ellington, who's majoring in sociology, said he's continued the routine of studying, weight training, workouts and games as he did in high school so he doesn't feel mentally strained by the dual workload.

When the spring practice closes on April 13, Ellington will again happily balance two offseason programs to prepare for his junior year in football and his final season in basketball. "This is my last year," he said. "So I might as well just finish it out."