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Ellington Leaves Proud Georgia State Legacy

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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For all that he accomplished and represents, Dan Ellington has earned a special place in Georgia State lore.

Georgia State quarterback Dan Ellington deserves a tip of the cap.

Though the Panthers fell to Wyoming in Tuesday's Arizona Bowl, the big stage was a fitting showcase for Ellington, his story and the platform he leaves his program on. A noted leader for Georgia State, Ellington finishes his senior season with 3,115 total yards, 28 total touchdowns and, big picture, momentum that no single game can dissuade. Ellington, pacing the Panthers from two wins in 2018 to nine wins in 2019, overcame both injury and inconsistency to walk off the field with his head held high.

This season, for Ellington, was one to remember. It started with a historic upset of SEC foe Tennessee in Neyland Stadium, a game where he scored three total touchdowns as a tone-setter for his team. For an encore performance, Ellington promptly set a program record with five passing scores the very next week. He, during the middle of the year, helped lead Georgia State on an impressive four-game winning streak, with the Panthers beating Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Army and Troy in consecutive outings.

Ellington's production throughout was impressive. In addition to his multi-faceted playmaking, there was proficiency; Ellington set a Georgia State record with a 65% completion percentage. He paced the Panthers to new program marks for total yards, total points and touchdowns scored, among other milestones. Ellington helped take Georgia State to its third-ever bowl game, continuing to expand the brand of one of college football's youngest programs.

The finish to the season was an especially-trying one for Ellington as he played the last four games with a torn ACL. Ellington, injured against Louisiana-Monroe, found a way to remain on the field in ensuing games against Appalachian State, South Alabama, Georgia Southern and Wyoming. Ellington's efforts were an inspiration. He rallied his teammates down the home stretch, even throwing a pair of touchdown passes in a November victory over South Alabama that helped solidify the Georgia State's postseason position.

Improving across the board from year one to year two as a starter, Ellington, beyond just his miraculous ability to play through significant pain, is a testament to hard work and dedication. As he settled in, the Panthers made their run. Ellington, though limited at times due to injury, was relentless in his play and pursuit. His career was acclaimed both on the field and off as Ellington received all-conference honors as a quarterback and honor roll recognition as a student.

For all that he accomplished and represents, Ellington has earned a special place in Georgia State lore.   

Ellington's lasting legacy, at Georgia State, is one of leadership. That premise of consistency carried all of the way through to his final game all of the way out west and, importantly, will remain even as he leaves the program in his rear-view. All that Ellington, like many of his predecessors, did, is part of the Panthers' foundation. Georgia State is better for Ellington's far-reaching contributions. Ellington the player, and Ellington the person, set a standard; that standard remains.

Dan Ellington was a great player for the Panthers. For a program still building its history, he will long remain a great influence.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports