Who is Andre Ellington?by Tony Capobianco on Oct. 28, 2013, under Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals came into Sunday’s game 26th in the NFL in rushing. They’ve seem to have solved their problem with rookie Andre Ellington, who ran for an 80-yard touchdown in a 27-13 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
Ellington started in place of Rashard Mendenhall, who’s out because of an injured toe, finished the day with 154 rushing yards on 15 carries.
“I was able to have a little speed burst out there,” he said after the game.
“And with his speed, no one’s going to catch him,” Arizona coach Bruce Arians added.
In case you have no idea who Ellington even is and what is he’s doing in a Cardinals’ uniform, allow me to fill you in.
Ellington caught everyone’s eye as a senior in Berkeley High School in South Carolina, where he rushed for 1,822 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was so impressive that ESPN ranked him as the sixth best running back in their recruiting board.
He chose Clemson over some of the SEC powerhouses including instate rival South Carolina. He finished his Clemson career fourth among the Tigers’ all-time rushers with 3,436 yards, just below former teammate and current Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller, and finished third in rushing touchdowns with 33.
He also helped lead the Tigers to their first Orange Bowl appearance in over three decades in the 2011 season, only to be dominated by West Virginia.
Ellington ran a 4.61 at the NFL Combine, which is uncharacteristic of him as he had multiple runs of over twenty yards during his senior year at Clemson. He was projected to be a second or third round pick but slid to the third day of the draft and was selected in the 6th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals have clearly shown a knack for finding draft gems in Bruce Arians’ first year as head coach.
Ellington’s 80-yard touchdown run was the in Arizona Cardinals’ history. The only runs longer than 83 yards by John David Crow in 1958 and Elmer Angsman in 1949.
But did that all spawn from to Monday’s practice, one that was similar to training camp?
“This game was won on Monday when I asked the team to come out in pads and we had a training camp practice,” Arians said to the media after Saturday’s victory over Atlanta. “A lot of teams would balk at that, but our leadership and our veterans, we had the best practice we had all year and it set the tempo for this game and I think set the tempo for the rest of the season.”
I prefer to believe it was because a black cat ran across the field on the Falcons sideline just before kickoff. The evidence is there on account of Matt Ryan throwing four interceptions and Steven Jackson only getting 11 yards on a full day’s work load.
But who knows, at least now you know your future star running back.
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