The end of the Junior Day had arrived and Chesterfield (VA) Byrd defensive back Jalen Elliott still did not have an offer from NC State. He wasn’t exactly disappointed because he went into the visit without any expectations.
Then again there had been plenty of talk about how much the NC State coaches liked him so no matter what Elliott says it is likely that there might have been a little hope. Elliott waited and waited and waited. Finally his waiting paid off.
He was the last player of the day to be offered by Dave Doeren.
“They brought us up to the big coaching box. We went into the head coach’s office. It was just me, my dad and my little brother. I got to talk to Coach Doeren a little bit. Then he just told me they would like to offer me. It was a good feeling.”
That does not even begin to explain how Elliott (6-1, 185) felt at the time. He expounded on that a little more on his own. Virginia Tech and Wake Forest may have already offered but Elliott is still new enough to all this recruiting that every single time an offer comes he is still thrilled.
“It’s ACC ball so it’s always going to be big. I was very thankful. You never go in somewhere expecting an offer so it was a big surprise to me. I was thankful that the coaching staff and coaches like Coach Barlow and Coach Doeren thought highly enough of me to offer me a full scholarship.”
George Barlow had already gotten to know Elliott before he visited over the weekend. He had visited Lloyd C. Bird High School earlier this year so Elliott knew he was all business. He knew this was possible.
“He’s been talking to me and I knew he wanted to offer me. That’s what he had said. But you never really know. I was expecting anything. It’s just good to get to the campus and to know I have an offer. I wanted to see how players react to the coaches and how they interacted with everybody so it was a good visit. I really like their coaches. It’s a family atmosphere. The coaches seem like they’re real genuine. You never know until you actually get there but just from face to face they seem like they’re very genuine. Coach Barlow makes sense of things for you.
“My dad and my brother liked the campus also. I think for my little brother and my dad it was a great experience for them getting to see the campus and just going around to different things. We had been to a couple of junior days so we had seen different campuses. It’s just good to experience the differences at places.”
For Elliott the weight room was one of the more memorable parts of the day. So was the chance to see everyone in the program from the coaches to the players come together as one and get along so well. Then there was the offer.
“Coach pulling me into his office and just getting to see that was big. I kind of looked out onto the field and I could think about playing there on Saturdays. It was amazing. It was an amazing feeling up there. Just hearing everybody talk about how much fun it is on Saturdays when everybody shows up was amazing too.”
The visit answered some questions for Elliott. He now knows he could commit to NC State anytime he wants to. Some questions are unanswered still. The coaches did not tell Elliott what position they would want him to play. The coaches only said they would be okay with him on offense or defense. Elliott is not the kind of player to mind talk like that. He is not hung up on reserving a spot at a position.
Elliott is Bird’s quarterback now and Doeren said that those skills could translate to safety as the quarterback of the defense. That might be the position he would first play. Doeren said he could move to receiver if that would get him on the field sooner.
Visits to Maryland, Penn State and West Virginia are pending but those will be the last places Elliott sees before shutting it down for the early part of this year. Lots of coaches want him to visit but time and resources are limited. Elliott believes that if he visits those schools he will have seen enough for now. That will not be the end of recruiting in general.
“I just think for this time that’s about enough until basketball season is over. I’m not going to try to make a decision too early because I want to make the best decision for me and my family. I don’t want to drag it out too long either. I’m not sure when I’ll make a decision but it won’t be too soon.”