Ellis happy to be back on the outside

CORTLAND, NY -- Following Jets minicamp, defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis spent 23 days in a Virginia prison after taking a plea in an assault and battery case stemming from an incident while he was a player at Hampton University.

“Mentally it was a tough part,” Ellis said. “Just read a couple books, keep your mind out of the situation and just look forward to getting back out there, start working again.”

He also passed the time with visitors, including general manager Mike Tannenbaum, coach Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson, though not all at the same time.

Ellis passed his conditioning test and said he was at 345 pounds, within five or so pounds of his weight when he left. Once he returned to New Jersey, Ellis said he spent some time training with linebacker Bart Scott in mixed martial arts.

Ellis was granted a split sentence, meaning that he will have to return to prison for roughly the same number of days when the season is over to complete his term.

“After the season I’ve got to face that part again, but for now I’m trying to focus on football,” Ellis said. “First half is behind me, second half is ahead but for now I’m trying to focus on football.”