In 2007 Ellis Lankster the JUCO transfer from Whistler, Alabama didn’t even know if he would be playing for the Mountaineers because he was suspended from the team for having possession of a stolen laptop computer, needless to say, he had to work his way back into Rich Rodriguez’ good graces.
In high school, as a senior Lankster had 24 TD’s, 19 rushing and five receiving scores, while also picking off nine passes on defense. Over the course of his junior and senior season Lankster intercepted 22 passes.
Lankster then went on to play for Jones County Junior College where he intercepted five passes as a true freshman. In 2006 he verbally committed to play for Mississippi State before changing his mind due to WVMU promising early playing time and exposure.
The negative exposure Lankster got didn’t help him. He didn’t find the field extensively until 2008, but when he did find the field he made a good impression.
He made second team All Big East despite his first year starting, recording three interceptions and 68 tackles. Not bad for a JUCO transfer.
Fast forward to now, with the 220th overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft the Buffalo Bills select Ellis Lankster. All indications are that the Bills are impressed with what they are seeing, considering where he was picked.
He has found a way onto getting some first team nickel reps, granted most of the starters are resting injury ailments, but Cary Harris the DB picked in the sixth round is having trouble staying on the field due to injuries and Lankster is taking advantage of every opportunity he gets.
He may not play corner right away, but he could contribute on special teams, returning kicks or playing gunner. Either way if Lankster continues to practice the way he has been, he should find a home with Buffalo.
Lankster has been proving he can play at a higher level every time he made the transition. He just has to prove it one more time.