New York Jets reserve cornerback Ellis Lankster has joined Aaron Maybin as former Buffalo Bills outcasts scooped up by the Jets, and Lankster may soon be joining Maybin in having a tangible impact on the field for Rex Ryan. Ellis Lankster was on the Jets 53-man roster last season, recording six special teams tackles, but he has expanded his role so far this offseason and is now laying claim to the No. 4 cornerback position on the depth chart.
Ellis Lankster began his career with the Buffalo Bills, drafted in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft – the same year New York Jets teammate Aaron Maybin was drafted by the Bills. Lankster was released by the Bills just prior to the start of the 2010 season, the date of the final preseason cuts. He ended up playing for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL. The Jets brought him into training camp in 2011 and he stuck with the team.
"We hear one player to keep an eye on who has showed well in practice is Ellis Lankster, a former Bills draft pick who had six special-teams tackles last season."
Being the fourth cornerback may not be a premier distinction for a player, but it's nothing to sneeze at in a Rex Ryan defense. Rex Ryan loves cornerbacks and has been known to use as many as six on the field at any given time. Ryan had a ton of confidence in Donald Strickland, and it says something about his belief in Lankster's potential that the Jets allowed Strickland to remain unsigned.
“Ellis shows his true toughness by sharing his struggles with fluency as a child,” said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. “He refused to let his stutter keep him from his dream of playing professional football, and he is committed to helping and inspiring children attain their dreams by overcoming the obstacles they face.”
Congratulations to Ellis Lankster for overcoming all that he has and finally finding his way with the Jets. It looks as though 2012 will be a landmark year for him.
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