DeJuan Ellis is one of the most dynamic Quarterbacks you will ever lay your eyes on. His arm strength and athleticism are beyond compare. A transfer from Bishop O'Connell, he has his targets set on leading McDonogh to an MIAA crown.
Chad Ricardo: DeJuan, I want to begin by telling you, on a personal level, I’m a huge fan of yours. I’ve studied your game since you were a Freshmen. It was easy to see how dynamic of a football player you were even back then. Once I had the opportunity to meet you and communicate with your peoples, it became clear how good of a young man you were as well, which really just raised your stock even higher in my book. That said, let’s get started with this; you have a family that appears to be very supportive of your growth and development both on and off the field. How does having such a strong support system assist you in your progression?
DeJuan Ellis: Some people aren’t fortunate enough huge supporters and a family that cares more than anything. Having someone to push you an extra mile is just a blessing.
Chad Ricardo: I agree. It’s often that extra nudge that assists in helping an individual grow from where they are to what they will become. Speaking of change, you all decided to move on from Bishop O’Connell. Was that a difficult decision and what made McDonogh the right fit for you?
DeJuan Ellis: McDonogh has everything I need to be successful on the field and off. It’s a great Community and everyone works together as a family.
Chad Ricardo: McDonogh is a great school. Wonderful and supportive student body. Do me a favor, when you get there, say what’s up to my lil homies, Ethan and Jacob Mull and Ry Yospa. Moving right along. There is at least 1 “high-level” scout who has questioned your ability to play QB at the next level, despite your phenomenal talent and success. How has his, or anyone else’s doubt motivated you?
DeJuan Ellis: I just have to work harder. Everyone thinks because I’m shorter than most QB’s that I won’t be successful at the next level. I love that, it makes me work twice as hard.
Chad Ricardo: That mentality has obviously paid off for you to this point. There are portions of your game that remind me my past on the football field. In High School, I played against a young Mike Vick. He was nothing short of a phenom. Do you see characteristics of him in your game? You’ve obvi committed to Tech and he too is a former Hokie!
DeJuan Ellis: Yes, I love throwing the ball first and using my feet to make something happen if needed.
Chad Ricardo: I find it to be key that you say that; you throw the ball first, and use your legs as a secondary option. Many critics of Vick and QB’s of similar style would say they utilized the opposite approach, which even when successful, can wreak havoc on the body in later years. From that perspective, what do you love most about playing Quarterback?
DeJuan Ellis: I love reading and understanding the defense the most about playing QB.
Chad Ricardo: You’ll have plenty of opportunity for that this season. McDonogh is a storied program—the expectations will be higher there than at your previous school. Knowing this, do you feel any added pressure going into the season?
DeJuan Ellis: No, not at all I’m excited to get ready and play Gonzaga on the 27th.
Chad Ricardo: Coach T, Tyree Randolph, Max Fisher. Those are my dudes over there at Gonzaga. That’s going to be a heck of a game! All-in-all, this is your senior year, you’re in the MIAA, you have a very good team coming back, despite having what some would call a down year, last. What are your expectations for this season?
DeJuan Ellis: Just to win. Play as a team, work together and keep grinding with each other on and off the field.
Chad Ricardo: Spoken like a true field general. Final question, then I’ll let you get back to studying tape. No football player reaches the level of success and accomplishment as you have without the assistance of others. We touched on that support system earlier. Who has had the greatest influence on helping Dejuan Ellis become the young man he is today, and if they’re reading this right now, what do you have to say to them?
DeJuan Ellis: My family, my coaches, and friends. I would like to say thank y’all all and I will not let you down.
Chad Ricardo: DeJuan, you’re one of my favorite student athletes. I’m rooting for you brother. I wish you health, happiness, success and nothing less. Thank you my dude.