It did not take long for four-star offensive lineman Michael Eletise to realize that this isn’t high school football in Hawaii anymore.
“It was hard the first couple of weeks, but everybody knows where you are coming from and helps you out,” Eletise said.
“It’s really different from Hawaii. It’s dry here and it’s hotter here. There’s no beach anywhere near here, but it’s nice here and I like it.”
Not only has Eletsie had to transition to Tucson in general, but the way college football is played as well.
“It’s been hard, but the older guys and the coaches help you transition with the faster game,” Eletise said.
“Everybody hits harder, you’re not the biggest guy so you just can’t run people over and you need to use leverage. It’s been tough, but each day it gets a little easier.”
The coaches see a bright future in Eletise, which is one of the reasons why he has already played numerous positions on the offensive line.
“For the first couple of weeks I was at center mostly, but lately I have been at guard to try it out,” he said. “It helps that I move around because I get to see different perspectives.
“At center I get a certain view, but at guard I can see what they’re doing, so if I go back to center I know what the other linemen are supposed to be doing just because I have been there.”
There comes a lot of responsibility with playing center and Eletise has not gone at it alone.
“The first couple days, trying to make the center calls I was late on them and called the wrong ones just because I was panicking because they were moving so fast,” he said.
“Everybody helped me out, including the quarterbacks and running backs. Even Sani helped me out a lot as a defensive lineman. They know what it is supposed to look like and they wanted to help out.”
Eletise is not sure where his freshman season will lead him, but knows that he will do whatever the coaching staff asks of him.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I knew there were some great offensive linemen here, but I knew my ability and what I can do.
“Whatever happens I will continue to work hard and try to help out the program. I want to help this team because it is like a family and you always want the best for your family.
“I’ll play anywhere the coaches want me to play. Just tell me and I will study and I will play there. I don’t have a preference as long as I am on the field.”