Star CFL receiver Greg Ellingson has been on the run — literally.
The 31-year-old Ellingson is in tip top shape and prepared to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I actually just finished a hundred miles this month as a goal that I set for myself at the beginning of July, it was to run 100 miles, especially in this [Florida] heat that’s a challenge,” Ellingson said on The Rod Pedersen Show.
During his first season in Edmonton last year, Ellingson caught 86 passes for 1,170 yards and five touchdowns while earning West Division all-star recognition. After spending six seasons playing in the East Division for Hamilton and Ottawa respectively, he noticed a difference crossing over.
“After being there for a year you can see the passion the Western Conference has, especially when it comes to Labour Day and the rivalry between Calgary and Edmonton. When I was in the East you see what they’re doing, but you have a different appreciation for it when you’re actually over there and you can see how passionate the fans in the plains are,” Ellingson said.
Ellingson produced four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons while in the nation’s capital. He was a three-time East all-star and earned CFL all-star status in 2017, which came following a career-best 96 catches for 1,459 yards and 12 touchdowns. The six-foot-three, 193-pounder recorded seven grabs for 85 yards in Ottawa’s 2016 Grey Cup victory, an overtime upset over the Calgary Stampeders at BMO Field.
“They used to hype it up when I was in the East, you’re facing a West team and it’s going to be a tougher battle because those teams are supposedly better. We took it as we were underdogs and to their surprise we had a lot of success in the West just like we did the East,” Ellingson said.
“When you’re in the West, you’re going to battle these games because it’s a Western opponent and we have to have that two-point advantage.”
Just like other players, Ellingson has patiently been waiting to find out the fate of the 2020 season from the league office. There has been little communication between CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie and the CFL Players’ Association over the last week. If there are games to be played this year, Ellingson’s ability to compete and produce at a high level again is assured by the off-season work he’s still putting in.
“Obviously, unfortunate times right now. I’m normally preparing for a game every week, going through new plays — I’m on the field everyday,” Ellingson said.
“And this is a way to keep myself ready in case we have a season was run 100 miles. It’s something I’ve never done.”