Written by: Drew Johnson (@RealNews102)
Loyalty is a valued trait, especially with the influx of transfers at the prep and college levels.
2024 linebacker Trey’On Ellington has stayed true to his team and city while leading the Winter Haven Blue Devils defense for two consecutive seasons.
Ellington credits the camaraderie developed with his senior class and his grandmother for driving him half an hour away from Lake Wales so he could finish with the community he started with.
“My time at Winter Haven has been a roller coaster in a good way,” Wellington said. “All the seniors that played in my sophomore year have a good bond because over the years we’ve had three coaches since I’ve been on varsity. That brought us together. It’s been a good experience at WH, I’ve been through a lot with my guys and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
A well-spoken young man with the hunger and drive to transition to the next level. College coaches are starting to take notice with a few locked-in offers for Wellington but expect an uptick in interest in the coming weeks.
“I just want to play ball,” Ellington said. “I know my worth at the end of the day. Whatever comes around and what I get is when I’ll decide. Right now, I’m just taking any opportunity to play at the next level.”
The 6-0, 217-pound senior has been the engine of the Blue Devils’ defense this season, totaling 94 total tackles, with 19 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles to add. He’s a physical linebacker in the middle of the field who flashes a good motor to track down runners and a decent IQ to dissect plays and make reads before the play happens. Just check the film. HUDL
The consistent production and leadership qualities have been put on film for college coaches to evaluate, leading to offers from the likes of Presbyterian, Maryville, Independence, Webber, and Southeastern University.
He spoke on each program that has offered him and the relationship developed with the coaching staff.
Presbyterian: Coach Dan Owen came to the school during the spring and he saw my frame and stuff like that. Then that’s when he decided he would offer me. Me and him have had a really good connection and bond. Presbyterian was my first offer. He got me really rolling into the game so I appreciate him for that. I know I can play at the next level because of the type of relationship we have.
Webber: Coach J Rob (Jason Robinson) was reaching out to me. I went to one of their games but I wasn’t invited. I’m just watching the game and got a campus tour. They didn’t really know who I was. Then, one of the coaches offered me after we played Auburndale. I had my first pick of the season and had a great game that night. He came up to me and said what’s your Twitter? Then after the game, he texted me and said they would evaluate my film. 5 minutes later the offensive coordinator reached out to me with an offer.
Southeastern University: Man Coach Kenny Strong we’ve been texting and talking since spring. He’s just now offering me but we’ve been in a relationship. He’s a really solid dude, every time I see him it’s all love.
Maryville: It was Coach “O” (Nick Oyarzun, Assistant Coach/O-Line). He’s been recruiting me since the 11th grade spring. Over the summer he had finally called and offered me and some of my teammates. He was just telling me about the program and how it was repped by the airplane station near Knoxville, Tennessee. He was giving me the rundown and he sounded like a good/solid guy. He was saying I could come on and play things like that and I was loving it.
Independence: Coach really offered me on Halloween. Got that phone call, I wasn’t even expecting it to tell you the truth. He told me I would be on scholarship and this would be a two-year school then get me out and go to a bigger school. But I have really been grateful because I know at that school it’s a lot of D1 bounce backs so it’s not any scrubs that I’ll be playing against. I can learn something from them actually, that’s really why I’ve been considering that. They showed a lot of love and still do to this day.”
As Ellington’s high school campaign begins to conclude, he mentioned some of his plans for the off-season:
“Some of my plans are to make sure my grades are higher, now I can focus on academics. I plan on getting faster and stronger so I can go to college and I’m ready to play. I’m really trying to control what I can control. Push my film out there, email different coaches, and things of that nature are my goals. And I’m trying to end the school year with a 3.8 GPA.”
It’s enjoyable speaking with intelligent student-athletes with the drive and passion to make it to the next level. Ellington took time to thank the current coaching staff at Winter Haven, especially head coach Carl White for what he’s done for the school.
“Coach White is a great dude and he brought a great staff with him. One thing about Coach White is he’s going to keep it real at all times. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear but he keeps it real. What he brought to Winter Haven was that family man that the Haven needed at the time. He really one real dude and made sure we had the best stuff to get prepared for the season. He brought a great coaching staff to in the defensive coordinator Coach Stephens (Davis Stephens Jr.) he’s a GOAT too.
This kid is flying under the radar but will hopefully get more opportunities to shine with more exposure. College coaches, just observe the frame/upside while taking a look at his film. You won’t be disappointed. The young man finished his interview by giving thanks to those who have invested in his journey and vision.
“First of all you got to thank God,” Ellington said. “Then, my Grandma. She wakes up every morning before she goes to work to drop me off and drive thirty minutes all the way over there. She is really the motivation for why I want to make it. I’m thankful for all my coaches. Coach Stephens, Coach Ellis, Coach White, Coach Timmons. Mr. Dean and Coach Pat. All of them!”