Ellis Robinson IV will pick college football on Wednesday.

He’s not even in college and already has the best conceivable nickname for a cornerback.

Ellis Island.

Ellis Robinson IV says he’s not afraid to be left alone in the coverage. was not. With long arms, length and strength, a smooth and quick transition from backpedal to turn and run, jump to break up passes and a nose to tackle, he made recruits drool.

He’s the No. 1 ranked player at his position in the class of 2024 and Wednesday afternoon Ellis Robinson IV tells us where he plans to play college football.

Ellis III, his wife Nicole, and the Robinson family travel from Connecticut to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida to announce. Somewhere between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on ESPN2 College Football Live, Ellis IV will make his commitments among Georgia, Alabama, Colorado, Miami, and LSU.

Top recruiting analysts give two-time national champ Georgia the nod over the Bama. However, whether the five-star, 6-1, 185-pound angle goes to Athens, Tuscaloosa, or Boulder with Deion Sanders, that’s already a certainty.

He made his family’s day. And this is something special.

After the early signing period in December, Wednesday is National Signing Day for the class of 2023. Ellis IV, who has another year remaining at IMG, did not sign. He is committing. He will sign next December. He will take his official visits.

However, he says he is ready. He has been to Alabama many times since he was a junior. He was just in Georgia for the national championship parade. He understands his options.

“The reason I’m doing this on February 1 is because I know it’s precious to my parents,” he said. “The month means a lot to him.”

Ellis III lost his father, Ellis II, in February 1998 and his mother, Charlene, in 2017. Ellis IV never had the chance to meet his grandfather.

“I played football myself and my dad was always supportive,” said Ellis III. “I always talk to my son about how proud he is of him and what he has accomplished so far.”

Choosing February 1, it means something special, dad.

“Sure, sure. February is a tough month,” said Ellis III. “That gives me something to smile about.”

Originally from the Bronx, Ellis III played high school football at Bishop Ahr (now St. Thomas Aquinas) in Edison, NJ, and college in Southern Connecticut. He met Nicole, who is from Bridgeport, at SCSU. Turns out she’s the cousin of Mike Williams, a wide receiver for the LA Chargers.

However, the really cool fact is that Ellis III played football in Finland after the south. I’m not sure college or the NFL will take the Ellis IV to Helsinki.

Ellis IV started playing Pop Warner in New Haven when he was five years old. He played with the Steelers until he was nine. Tyler Booker, now at Alabama, played on some of those teams. Ellis IV played for the Hartford Hurricanes 10-13 and Ellis III was a coach on the team that went to the Nationals in 2017 in Florida.

Ellis IV played all kinds of positions on offense, defense, and rebounding. However, he said from the start, “I loved being on the island.”

He played defensive back as an eighth grader for Capital Prip Harbor in Bridgeport. Ellis’s brother Damian Henderson Jr. played quarterback on the Hillhouse team that won the CIAC Class M Championship in 2016. Development took place at an impressively fast rate, and a decision had to be made as to which spot would be best for Ellis IV. The Robinson family decided to transfer to middle school. In the state they considered Cheshire Academy, St. Thomas More and Brunswick School.

“The coach from Iona Prep (Joe Spagnolo) was looking for a cornerback, found Ellis on Twitter and reached out,” said Ellis III. “I told my wife I feel really good about it, and we should go down and check it out.”

“I’ve loved it since I got down there,” said Ellis IV. “The seniors greeted me, and showed me how everything was done. I developed some really close relationships.”

However, it was a sacrifice. He traveled to New Rochelle every day. His father or mother would drive him 40 minutes to Stamford train station and from there a bus service would take him the rest of the way to Iona Prep.

“I had to get up at five in the morning every day,” said Ellis IV. “At first it was tough, but I got used to it.”

During football season, with bus service ending for the day, one of his parents had to pick him up at school. Some days they don’t get home to New Haven until 9 p.m., which is a lot of dedication from Mom and Dad, too.

“We decided to make the sacrifice and put him in the best position possible,” said Ellis III. “We believed in him from an early age that he could be what he is now.”

Iona Prep captured the New York State Catholic Athletic Association championship in 2021. By the end of his sophomore year, Ellis IV was ranked fourth in his class by 247Sports.

Yes, commuting took a toll, but it was an opportunity to go to perhaps the best comprehensive program in the country that was an impossible-to-resist magnet.

“IMG has definitely helped me develop as a footballer,” said Ellis IV. “Against four- and five-star receivers every day, practice is harder than games.”

“Everyone who comes from IMG seems college-ready and then pro-ready,” said Ellis III. “The weight program is top notch and time 40 to 4.5 lasers. There is also the maturity aspect of being on your own, making decisions on your own.”

Ellis IV talks about how he is now sitting and having conversations with his parents.

Ellis III talks about how when his son came home, he caught him staring at him.

“I can’t believe how much he’s grown,” said Ellis III.

in the body and in maturity.

Think about this next time people denigrate a Connecticut football talent.

Will Levis, from Madison who played in Xavier, could be the No. 1 quarterback taken in the 2023 NFL Draft from Kentucky.

Around the corner and a 10-minute walk from the Robinson house, Booker grew up in New Haven. The two played together for two years at Pop Warner, but Booker was so big he had to move up because of his weight. The five-star recruit, 6-5, and 330 pounds, was an All-SEC freshman this past season.

Ellis calls Booker his older brother.

“My relationship with Tyler began when we were like kids,” said Ellis IV. “My dad and his dad (William) are good friends. Tyler and I started playing when we were kids and our relationship grew… Pop Warner Steelers come down to the Alabama camps.”

Booker moved on to play for Catholic Club Bergen before moving to IMG.

Ellis III said, “My wife and I talk all the time how cool it is through this process to have someone be a level head and do the things Tyler does and come before my son. His father and I are like brothers. And the two sons are like brothers.”

“Everywhere I go I make sure I say I’m from New Haven and Connecticut,” said Ellis IV. “I want people to know we have some strong talent.”

So Dad will show his sons videos of cool characters from Deion, who he’s recruiting, to Jalen Ramsey of the LA Rams, who Ellis IV wants to emulate. They go into the little things, the nuances to improve, to pave the way for the big things. Ellis IV may be #1 in 2024, but the words “great potential” are a double-edged sword.

“Honestly, I don’t think much of it,” Ellis IV. “I try to focus on playing and improving rather than worrying about ratings.”

“I want to keep him humble and I think he’s doing a great job of maintaining the way my wife and I raised him,” said Ellis III. “Football is a violent sport. You’re just a play away from never playing again. I remind him he hasn’t accomplished anything yet. His overall goal is to play in the NFL. We have some homework. We have work to do.”

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