2020 Kirby High School (Tenn.) Quarterback Draylen Ellis has had a busy offseason that ended with a commitment to Austin Peay State University on August 3.
The 6-foot-1, 175 pound, three-star recruit chose the Austin Peay Governors of the Ohio Valley Conference over Alabama A&M, Campbell, Jacksonville State, Tennessee State, and others.
“Austin Peay has a great program that’s really growing. The academics speak for itself, Coach Hud is from the SEC and he’s won everywhere that he has been. He has put together a great staff. They really recruited me and have put together a plan for me to play immediately. The environment is great, and Clarksville is a growing city with a lot of opportunity,” Ellis said.
Ellis believes he will bring great character and leadership to the Austin Peay football program and university and be a person that they can depend on.
He will be joining an Austin Peay Governors team that will be looking to bounce back from a losing season in 2018 as they ended the year with a 5-6 (3-5 Ohio Valley Conference) record.
Draylen Ellis knew he could play football when he broke the Southaven, Mississippi recreational football league touchdown record with 36 touchdowns as a running back, quarterback, defensive back and kick returner.
“I grew up in Mississippi, but [Memphis] means everything to me because I understand other people’s struggles. Just because people don’t have as much as you doesn’t mean that they’re any less [important]. In sports, I want to keep up the winning tradition at Kirby High.”
Academically, He wants to major in physical education and minor in communication to one day be a coach, own a gym and teach young quarterbacks.
“As far as talking to my coaches about being a coach, Coach [Chester] Flowers is a great coach and mentor and [is] like a father figure. He’s helping me be successful in life, no matter what I choose to do. He just wants me to be the best DJ I can be, on and off the field,” he said about the Kirby Cougar head coach.
On the football field, Draylen Ellis has a good pocket presence, solid arm strength and is accurate with his throws both on the run and in the pocket. He loves the competition of the quarterback position, being the leader of a team and the pressure to win. Check out his junior highlights.
“Going to The Manning Camp for three years gave me my start. Working with all of those quarterbacks including Chad Kelly and Eli Manning gave me the confidence to want to be great,” Ellis said about the Manning Passing Academy.
He models his game after the likes of Drew Brees and Russell Wilson because they defied the short quarterback stereotype and have winning pedigrees. Cam Newton because of his style and the way he dominates the game. Ellis’ favorite quarterback to emulate is Deshaun Watson.
Draylen Ellis wants his senior year at Kirby High School to his best year yet. A year where he enjoys friends, teachers, spring break, prom, and graduation. He has a lot of coaches to thank for all that they have done for him to help him grow as a player and person.
“Coach Shipp to Coach Jones for pushing me to get my body [in better shape]. Coach Hunt and Coach Narcisse for staying on me about my leadership and what it takes to be a champion. Coach West and Coach Clemons for their fatherly advice, Coach Pat for making me want to be better with every throw and genuinely liking me as a person.”
Last but not least, he wants to thank Coach Flowers for believing in him as a 12-year-old and helping him become one the best quarterbacks in Tennessee.