As we await Super Bowl LVI, we can proudly bask over another Richmond County native who, like Perry Williams, has two Super Bowl rings (XLVII-2013 & LII-2018). Hamlet native, Dannell Ellerbe shares another similarity with Williams in also being a two-sport star in football and track.
He was named All-State by the Associated Press. He was named the Defensive MVP of the 2003 Shrine Bowl (NC-SC All-Star Game), in which he had nine tackles, three pass break-ups, and one interception. He made 124 tackles and five sacks as a junior and 165 tackles and nine sacks as a senior. Regarded as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Ellerbe was listed as the No. 7 outside linebacker nationally.
He also lettered in track and field, recording a 1.98-meter (6 ft, 6 in) high jump as a junior. In addition, he also ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, bench-pressed 280 pounds, squatted 480 and had a 42-inch vertical jump.
Ellerbe attended the University of Georgia and played four seasons before being drafted in 2009 when he began his career in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens and earned his first Super Bowl ring in 2013. He also played for the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, and, most recently, the Philadelphia Eagles, where he earned his second Super Bowl win in 2017.
Dannell not only makes a huge impact on a football field, but also in his community. The summer of 2020 was the first since 2012 that he did not host his annual FUNdamentals football camp at Richmond Senior High School, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to the summer camps that he and his wife, Shervella, organized to give back to the community, he has supported numerous programs in the county by donating both his time and money, including funding and distributing meals with Richmond County Aging Services and partnering with Richmond County Social Services to shop with and purchase gifts for countless children in the county at Christmas.
Join us in celebrating this champion for his achievements in the NFL, dedication to our community, and for representing Richmond County to the fullest!
Meghann Lambeth is executive director of the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority.
(Editor’s Note: Visit Richmond County is highlighting prominent local African Americans each day in February in honor of Black History Month. Previous individuals featured include late Richmond County sheriff James E. Clemmons Jr., late state representative Harrison Ingram Quick, dancer and makeup artist Ciarra Kelley, Ellerbe Mayor Brenda Capel, two-time Super Bowl champion Perry Williams, Bishop Arlester Simpson of Ellerbe, Richmond County School Board member Ronald Tillman, and educator Melvin Ingram. See the Visit Richmond County Facebook page for more on these outstanding individuals.)