Auburn, Ala.--Even though he was an Under Armour All-American and a four-star wide receiver on Scout who had 22 career touchdown receptions at Niceville (Fla.) High, Elijah Stove didn’t get much attention heading into the preseason when discussing freshmen wide receivers for the Auburn Tigers. However, it hasn’t taken him long to make a push for immediate playing with good performances in practice, including his first college scrimmage.
.Making a couple of big catches, including a one-handed grab on a deep ball down the field, the 6-0, 177-pounder has put himself squarely in the mix for playing time at a position where the Tigers need help from newcomers. With another chance to show what he can do this Saturday in scrimmage number two, Stove is a player who Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said will continue to get looks because he’s earned them.
“He’s caught our attention, there’s no question,” Lashlee said. “He’s another guy in the vein of Kameron Martin that, he’s done some really good things that say, 'Okay, we need to keep working with this guy. He needs to be able to help us this year.'
“There are several freshmen who need to be able to help us this year so we've just got to keep pushing them through it.," Lashlee said. "You can’t really baby them. You can’t bring them along slow. You just got to throw them in the fire, throw them in there with the big boys, and they’re going to learn to swim.
“So he has done enough that says, 'Hey, he’s going to be ready to help us.' In what capacity, I don’t know, but we’re going to keep pushing him, and he’s got a bright future.”
Elijah Stove was a standout high school player in the Florida Panhandle.
Getting the attention of Auburn's coaches in the summer before his junior season when he was one of the top players at an AU summer camp, Stove committed to the Tigers the following spring following a Big Cat Weekend visit. Now getting ready to push for playing time as a true freshman, Stove along with Nate Craig, Kyle Davis and Marquis McClain are hoping to make an impact right away.
While making good plays in practice is a long way from proving he is ready to succeed in the SEC, it’s a great first step for Stove. He has already made an impression on his teammates with his play on the field and as a freshman he got the ultimate compliment from junior safety Stephen Roberts.
“Eli, that’s a quick guy,” Roberts said. ‘He has great ability to go for the ball. He doesn’t mind jumping for it, and if he gets hit, he gets right back up.
“That’s a tough guy," Roberts added. "That’s what our coach preaches all the time--just be tough and physical. That’s what Auburn is about.”