Bronco Future Bright in Secondary

James Ellison

At 6-1 and 200 pounds, Detroit Western safety James Ellison is ready to make an impact for the Broncos. Ellison verbally committed to Western Michigan on January 12th and he had a lot to say regarding the visit and why he chose Western over arch-rival Central Michigan. We spoke to Ellison as well as his brother who played college ball for Wayne State and has been through the recruiting process himself.

There had been a lot of speculation as to whether Ellison favored Western Michigan or Central Michigan and it appeared at the beginning that Central had the inside track. It didn't take long for the tide to change.

"I went up to the Western/Central game in November and really liked Western in that game," said Ellison, who has been clocked at a personal best 4.39/40. "I just liked the way they looked out there and I could see myself playing for them."

Ellison can credit his brother, Cliff Ashley, for helping him get his name out to college coaches. Ashley coaches on the Detroit Western staff as the quarterback's coach and is also the head coach of the junior varsity team.

"I put together a tape that I sent to some colleges like Western Michigan, Iowa and some others," said Ashley. "I spoke to coach Woods at Western and from there he and James began to talk."

Ellison's official visit to Western Michigan was on January 10th and he committed the Sunday of his weekend visit.

"I just loved it," said Ellison. "The facilities were great and I really warmed up to the coaches."

Ellison was hosted by running back Philip Reed and Ellison said Reed really helped give him a clear picture of college.

"He was very down to earth and answered all of my questions," he said. "He told me the way things are in college and that helped me get a better understanding of what was ahead of me."

Choosing Western was in part due to the way various college coaches handled his recruitment.

"At Western there was no pressure to commit from the coaches," said Ellison. "They wanted me to have a good time on my visit and show me the program and let me be at ease."

According to Ellison, that was not the case from other schools.

"With Central, they just called too much," he said. "I like getting attention but if you call me make sure you have something to say."

Ashley agreed.

"He'd hang up the phone with a Central coach and walk three feet away and it would ring and it would be a different coach," he said. "I got into it with them because they'd come here and call him saying they were at the school and wanted him to come meet them and I was like 'don't you give anyone any notice'," Ashley added. "We smoothed it out after that but at that time I think James just wanted to go to Western because they treated him right from the beginning."

Ellison, who is a full academic qualifier, said he is undecided on a major. He finished the season with 168 total tackles, 125 of them solo. He added eight interceptions and five forced fumbles. On offense he played running back where he totaled 1,200 yards rushing with 16 touchdowns. He also added 500 all-purpose yards and four kick returns for touchdowns. Overall a solid year to say the least!

So does the standout prospect want to compete as a true freshman for playing time?

"I'll probably redshirt next season, at least that is what I prefer," said Ellison. "I'd like to get a year under me to get bigger, stronger and faster."

Ellison also participates in track where he runs the 100, 200 and the relays. Despite his commitment to Western, some colleges continue to call.

"Iowa called recently asking about him but he's done I think and he knows where he wants to be," said Ashley.

Ellison talked about coach Woods more.

"He's real calm and cool and there's no pressure with him," he said. "When I first started talking to him he told me a lot of things that other colleges would do and say and they did. He gave me a chance."

Ellison also considered Cincinnati in addition to Central Michigan and Iowa before committing to the Broncos.

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