South Carolina Football: Bruce Ellington Chooses Basketball over Football

Alex RobertsCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 08:  Bruce Ellington #23 of the South Carolina Gamecocks drives the ball up the court around Trevor Releford #12 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first round of the SEC Basketball Tournament at the New Orleans Arena on March 8, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Bruce Ellington has made it official.  He will not return to the football team in 2012.  He will instead focus solely on basketball. 

For me, it's a baffling decision.  Basketball Coach Darrin Horn is on the thinnest of ice.  The basketball team has very little pull for high end recruits.  They just finished a 2-14 season in the SEC, tied for the worst basketball record in the SEC since the league expansion. 

He had an opportunity to become a great football player.  Even though his touches were limited in 2011, he was in a prime position to become a go-to guy. He was a phenomenal kick returner, had excellent hands and great running ability.  He could have been a fantastic starter or slot receiver for the next few years with the chance to blossom into a star. 

With him leaving, the team may rely on Damiere Byrd to take back kicks. 

It is disappointing news for football fans, but on the bright side, if South Carolina decides to grab a new basketball coach, the coach will have a good player to mold his team around. 

Either way, thank you, Ellington, for your continued efforts on the court and your previous efforts on the gridiron.  South Carolina fans will support you either way.