South Carolina football: Jabari Ellis making the most of his senior season

Jabari Ellis #99 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Jabari Ellis #99 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

South Carolina football player Jabari Ellis is making the most of his senior year.

Redshirt senior defensive lineman Jabari Ellis has waited patiently on his chance to make an impact on the South Carolina front four. Now, it appears the veteran tackle has seized his opportunity and will take over a starting role along the defensive line.

Ellis has been on the South Carolina campus since 2018, following a two-year stint at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville. As a sophomore, he helped lead the Bulldogs to an 8-2 record, earning All-Atlantic Region team honors. He totaled 22 tackles, nine of which went for a loss, and added four sacks. He was considered the 13th best defensive tackle in the junior college ranks.

In 2018, Ellis joined the Carolina roster, playing in four contests but ultimately taking a redshirt year. He remained in a reserve role the following season, as he backed up first round NFL selection Javon Kinlaw and veteran leader Kobe Smith.

Now, though, Smith and Kinlaw are off to pursue professional careers, opening up a competition on the defensive line. And Ellis is catching the eye of head coach Will Muschamp.

"“Jabari has made tremendous strides. I think about Jabari day one to where he is now and at the end of (last) season he was a very productive football player for us.”"

In 12 career appearances with the Gamecocks, Ellis has tallied 13 tackles and a sack. He’ll battle a couple of younger players in Zacch Pickens and Rick Sandidge, both of whom arrived to campus with much more hype on the recruiting trail, but don’t expect Ellis to cede his final opportunity to play. He knows that this will be his last chance to make an impact in the garnet and black, and he’s making it tough for coaches to keep him on the sidelines.

Next. Takeaways from Gamecocks' 1st scrimmage. dark