Caleb Ellard making big impression at QB

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Given his impressive size, Caleb Ellard always found himself playing on the line when he started playing football.
It’s not surprising, considering the 13-year-old from Georgia already stands 6 feet tall and weighs 170 pounds.
Deep down, Ellard wanted to play quarterback. “It was kind of frustrating,” he said. “But I just knew if I kept working hard at it, my time would come to play quarterback.”
Ellard’s time has come. He is playing QB for the Classic Cowboys, an independent travel league team in Athens, Ga. And he is playing very well.
“I feel very comfortable throwing the football,” Ellard said. “I’m comfortable passing just because I know that I get the ball to my receivers and I can be accurate. I’m very happy to be playing quarterback, but that doesn’t mean I can stop working hard. I’m working to get my footwork a little bit better and I’m working on my throwing mechanics.”
Ellard’s size has been an asset at quarterback. “With passing, it helps me because I can stand tall in the pocket and not have to throw over defenders so much,” he said. “With running, it’s easier because not a lot of people want to tackle me.”

Early success

While helping the Cowboys get off to a 2-0 start this season, Ellard passed for 4 touchdowns and had 3 rushing scores. Last year, he primarily played fullback but did go 3-for-3 passing the football.
To prepare for full-time play at QB, Ellard attended two NFA camps. He also received his first invite to the Duel and finished second among incoming seventh graders in July.
“My goals at the start of the Duel were to just go out and have a good time, do my best and see how far I could go with it,” Ellard said. “It was very exciting. I thought I would probably be in the top five going into the primary gauntlet round. Once they got down to the top two, I got a little nervous because I wasn’t sure if they were going to call my name or not.”

Confident quarterback

Doing so well at NFA’s showcase event has helped Ellard step right in and perform with the Cowboys. “It gave me a lot of confidence,” he said. “Going into the season, finishing so higgh at the Duel helped me to realize that I was that good and I could play well for my team. I was able to start at quarterback on a team I never played with before. It really helped.”
In addition to being a young quarterback with a very bright future, Ellard is also a straight A student at Prince Avenue Christian School. He was recently inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. “Grades are more important than football because without good grades, you can’t get into college,” he said.

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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University

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