14 in 14: S Elijah Shumate

IrishEyes.com continues its "14 in 14" series, which profiles each of the freshman enrolling this month at Notre Dame. It is running for 14 successive days, and it continues with Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) safety Elijah Shumate.

Elijah Shumate doesn't know which position in the secondary he will play at Notre Dame, but he believes he will get on the field.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Shumate, who signed with the Irish on Feb. 1, is set to arrive in less than a week, and he is eager to see how he fits into defensive coordinator Bob Diaco's scheme.

"There's a lot of excitement," Shumate said. "I can't wait to start the next chapter of my life."

Whether that chapter begins at cornerback or safety remains uncertain in Shumate's view, but he doesn't mind waiting until training camp to learn his fate.

"It's wait and see," he said. "They talked about a lot of things; cornerback, free safety, strong safety. Basically, it's just how fit into the defensive backfield."

Shumate has the athleticism and size to play multiple positions, and has the type of frame that could eventually lead to him playing linebacker if he adds weight.

At Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), Shumate played corner, strong safety and occasionally lined up at linebacker.

He made 41 tackles and intercepted two passes as a senior, and Shumate's versatility provides peace of mind heading into college because he knows he can play multiple positions.

"I prepare the same way," Shumate said. "It doesn't matter where you play in the secondary, you have to work on the same technique, footwork, speed and you have to have great hips. Everything comes into play working with great defensive backs. You have to cover, you have to work on man, zone …all the things.

"Wherever they want to play me, I'll be prepared."

Shumate also believes he will play as a true freshman.

"I see myself going in and playing right away," he said. "Whether I start or not, I see myself going in right away and playing. I feel like the way I'm going to work no matter where I have to play, even if I have to play special teams, I'm going to get on the field. I don't plan on red-shirting, but if I do red-shirt, I won't be mad at that."

One thing Shumate doesn't expect to experience is culture shock from the intensity and demands of a college coaching staff.

Don Bosco Prep has a notorious conditioning program, and toughness is built in. During training camp, the Ironmen sometimes scrimmage other high schools three times in a week, and the starters play in significantly in each scrimmage.

"Just working as hard as I did at Bosco is going to prepare me for the next level," Shumate said. "Bosco prepares us for college. They prepare us for when we get there we don't find it hard. It's going to be hard, but all the Bosco kids seem to (adjust) quickly."

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