After helping his team win its fourth straight state title, Rumson (N.J.) Fair Haven tight end Elijah McAllister turned his football focus to conquering yet another gridiron challenge; the U.S. Army Combine in San Antonio, Texas.
The 6-6, 220-pounder was as impressive in person as he is on film.
(When) you're watching me at wide receiver or tight end, you're going to see a tough kid, a New Jersey kid that's going to block every play, going to catch any ball thrown to him and work his butt off to play for you,” said McAllister. “That's what you'll see in my game."
"Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Connecticut are some of the schools that have already seen enough to extend scholarships.
"Tennessee is sticking out so far,” he said. “I talk to Coach Larry Scott, the tight ends coach, a lot. He's very high on me. Maryland, I talk to Coach Walt Bell, the offensive coordinator, probably twice a week so that's big for me."
Also big for the talented youngster has been his recent interaction with Michigan's coaching staff.
"Michigan I've been in contact with for the past about two weeks,” McAllister reported. “My family actually grew up Michigan fans so that offer would be big for me. I know they recruit Jersey well so I'm just hoping to stay in contact with them. And as long as I handle my business hopefully the interest is there on their end and we make a good connection."
The Garden State star’s Maize & Blue recruitment may be in it’s infancy, but he already sees a great deal that he likes. That includes familiar face from his home state.
“I trained with Rashan Gary before back when I maybe could've played defensive end,” said McAllister. “Jabrill Peppers obviously I know of being from Paramus Catholic, that's big."
"Obviously, I love that (the Wolverines) are recruiting Jersey well. It's the best pipeline in the country. I like Coach Harbaugh. He coached in the NFL, he's a great guy, a fiery guy and I love his style. I love coaches that I can say 'that's my coach.' I love that he's an up and fiery guy and he'll get the guys to play for him."
McAllister hopes to get out on visits to several campuses in the coming months. He has only visited a handful of his suitors thus far, which still leaves a great deal of information for him to gather.
"I'm open to really all schools,” he said. “Honestly location is not a factor. Weather is not a factor. I'm really open to any school as long as it's the right fit for me. They usually say you'll know when you feel the right fit, so I'm just waiting for that right fit and I'll commit."
One major factor for a lot of tight ends is style of play; specifically pro style versus spread. Not for McAllister.
"Honestly it doesn't matter,” he said. “Whatever will help me in the pros. Whoever utilizes the tight end a lot. Like I said, I love blocking. That's one of my things I pride myself on. In high school they say if you can't block you can't play so that's big for me. Blocking and obviously I'm a good receiver so wherever utilizes my skills the best."