June 3, 2010

QB Phillip Ely piles up the offers

Phillip Ely was a 5-foot-9, 145-pound sophomore when he took over for injured Tampa (Fla.) Plant quarterback Aaron Murray in 2008.

He guided the team into the playoffs, beat state power Seffner Armwood, then went back to the sideline when a healthy Murray returned and helped the Panthers win the Class 4A state title.

Today, Murray is the No. 1 quarterback at Georgia.

Meantime, Ely, a rising senior, will enter the 2010 season after getting a state championship of his own as a starter. No longer a scrawny kid, Ely currently is 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, according to Plant coach Robert Weiner.

Like Murray, he will have his pick of colleges.

At last check, Ely had 22 offers, with Arizona State, Clemson and LSU among the latest to join the fray. Ely, who is unbeaten as a high school starter, recently received an invitation to play in next year's U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

"That," Weiner said, "is a really big deal."

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