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Tino Ellis has potential at 2 positions, but his Maryland football future seems to be at cornerback

Profiles in Terpage moves to a former wide receiver recruit who spent his freshman season on defense.

High School Football: Under Armour All-America Game
Ellis at the Under Armour All-America Game in 2016.
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Profiles in Terpage is back for 2017. Last week, we focused on the linebackers; this week, we’re venturing into the secondary with Cornerbacks Week.

Tino Ellis, CB, No. 17

Height: 6’1
Weight: 193 lbs.
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Reisterstown, Maryland
High School: DeMatha

How he got to College Park

Ellis was a four-star wide receiver prospect at DeMatha, where he played with a host of current and future Terps. He committed to Maryland in July 2015, joining running back Lorenzo Harrison and wide receiver DJ Turner in a group that would later include guard Terrance Davis. Ellis picked the Terps over Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wake Forest and Rutgers.

In his first fall camp at Maryland, Ellis spent time on both sides of the ball. With secondary depth one of the Terps’ biggest weaknesses, he was able to make a bigger immediate impact at corner.

Career highlight

Ellis earned his first career start on Oct. 15 at Minnesota, and he finished the game with a pair of pass breakups.

2017 prospectus

The days of Ellis lining up at wide receiver might not be over, but all signs point to this being his best opportunity. With plenty of snaps available and still only one somewhat established starter—redshirt junior JC Jackson, over whom Ellis earned his first start in practice—Ellis could be one of Maryland’s most reliable players here. With an offseason of training for the position and a steady diet of reps at corner in practice, he could be poised for a breakout sophomore season.

Dream season

Ellis wins one of the starting cornerback jobs in camp and never looks back. He evolves into a lockdown defender—to the degree that fans start calling his side of the field Ellis Island—and helps turn what was one of Maryland’s biggest question marks into a position of strength. He also moonlights on offense and special teams to become one of Maryland’s most potent all-around threats.

Up next

Another four-star prospect, but this one was recruited as a corner.

Scaletta, jatk13, Terpluvian and sayt_al are all on the board this week.