Much of the news surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lately has involved the trade of Kellen Winslow, Jr. and the signing of Dallas Clark, but on May 22, the Bucs signed a wide receiver and Tampa native, Greg Ellingson, from the Arena Football League.
A graduate of Robinson High School in Tampa, Ellingson (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) played collegiately at Florida International, where he accumulated 124 receptions for 1,952 yards and 14 touchdowns over the course of his career as a four-year starter.
He signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2011 but was released just prior to the regular season.
Ellingson then signed with the New Orleans VooDoo of the Arena Football League. In six games with the VooDoo this season, he racked up 33 receptions for 475 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also has 10 rushing yards on two carries and has returned 10 kickoffs for 50 yards. Additionally, he has 4.5 total tackles, including three solo, on special teams.
He burst onto the arena football scene in Week 3, when he caught 10 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns, ran in a two-point conversion on a botched snap, and returned 4 kickoffs for 28 yards. He followed that up with an even more impressive performance in Week 4, catching 11 passes for 167 yards and four touchdowns, also returning 3 kickoffs for 17 yards.
In his last game, he piled on another 8 receptions for 107 yards and two more scores.
Off the field, he has spent time at the Tulane Hospital for Children, visiting patients, bringing them gifts, and playing video games with them.
"We wish Greg the best of luck in pursuing his dream," said VooDoo head coach Pat O'Hara through a press release. "He is an outstanding young man and has a strong work ethic."
Ellingson has immediately left New Orleans to join the Buccaneers in Florida for organized team activities. The VooDoo placed Ellingson on the Other League Exempt list, maintaining their rights to him in the future.
The Arena Football League has provided the NFL with a number of wide receivers over the years, including Rashied Davis of the Detroit Lions, Anthony Armstrong of the Washington Redskins, Rod Windsor of the Cleveland Browns, Greg Orton of the Denver Broncos, and former Dallas Cowboys receiver Troy Bergeron.
The author is a Featured Contributor in Sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and frequently contributes to Yahoo! Sports' coverage of the Arena Football League . You can follow him on Twitter at @RedZoneWriting and on Facebook.
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