The Class of 2010 was one of the best of the decade in the Greater Cincinnati area. With such a large crop of talent graduating this May, we begin to look at what players will take over as the stars of the local high school gridiron next season with our series, Rising Stars.
Ryle running back Travis Elliott already has two years of varsity football under his belt and has already amassed 2,110 rushing yards and 35 total touchdowns.
With Miles Simpson (Simon Kenton), Austin Collinsworth (Highlands), and Ricky Buckler (Bellevue) all graduating, the junior-to-be becomes one of Northern Kentucky's premier rushing threats.
Elliott learned a lot from watching those upper classmen and hopes to apply it to his game moving forward.
"These guys have great moves and just watching them I've learned a lot," Elliott said of the Northern Kentucky's graduating runners.
At 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds, Elliott has the size and frame to excel and still has two years to get bigger.
Elliott's spin move makes him tough to tackle and often leads to huge plays when coupled with his blazing speed (4.6 forty).
Head coach Bryson Warner knows he has a special player in Elliott and the team will go as far as he can carry it.
"Our players voted for Travis Elliott as our team MVP," Warner said. "That just speaks volumes of the kind leader he is and what he did for our football team."
Elliott credits the graduating Class of 2009 at Ryle for his growth as both a man and a player
"I looked up to the senior class. That's how I evolved," the 16-year old claimed. "They were a great bunch of guys and great role models."
There is plenty Elliott plans to do to get better and his off-season schedule is full of camps and combines including some invitational and college camps at Rutgers, Kentucky, UCLA, Penn State and North Dakota State this summer.
He also has invites to NIKE's camps in Blacksburg and Columbus. Last year he was rated No. 1 by the National Athletic Testing Systems (NATS) for his class and in the top 16 of all grades nationwide.
Ryle is expected to be one of Northern Kentucky's top teams in 2010 and Elliot has high expectations for both himself and his team.
"We got most of our players coming back on defense and a good offense," he said. "We should be pretty tough to handle."
FINAL TAKE: Elliott is worth the price of admission to watch run the football. The fact he averages 5.9 yards per carry and already has over 2,000 yards tells you all you need to know about his ability as a runner. He is posting ridiculous numbers and few teams in Northern Kentucky face the tough slate that Ryle does on an annual basis. With a solid passing game surrounding him, Elliott should approach the 2,000-yard plateau as a junior and is going to garner significant Division I attention as he gets closer to graduation.