Irish like versatile Virginia athlete
As a junior, Jalen Elliott quarterbacked the L. C. Bird High School football team to the 2014 Virginia 5A state championship.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder from Chesterfield has landed nearly a dozen scholarship offers since with interest coming from a handful of other top programs, including Notre Dame.
Irish assistant Scott Booker visited Bird High School last week to check on Elliott. The two later spoke on the telephone.
“I called him after and he said they liked my film and they want to recruit me as a defensive player,” Elliott said. “They’re supposed to have a defensive meeting and then go from there. They didn’t offer but he said it should be coming soon.”
Most schools project him as an athlete and for good reason. He passed for 1,800 yards, rushed for another 500 yards and scored 27 total touchdowns last fall. He’s also a lockdown defensive back.
“I play quarterback for my school but on defense I played mostly at safety this year and sometimes corner if there was a really good receiver on the other side,” he said. “There weren’t too many passes on my side.”
Elliott, who transferred to Bird from Hanover following his sophomore year, stepped right in to lead the team to a 13-2 record and the school’s third straight state championship.
“I learned the offense quick and tried to lead the team,” Elliott said. “The all-state and all that came with it because we won the state championship. It was a pretty good year. It was an amazing feeling.”
Now Elliott is focused on winning his second straight ring.
He’s also concentrating on finding the perfect fit to continue his education and football career.
He visited many of the nearby colleges and hopes to see even more this summer.
“Most of the ACC schools that are kind of close to me I visited,” he said. “Some of the schools that are farther I’m probably going to go to after the spring evaluation period and into the summer.”
Elliott remains open to any school that extends an offer. His decision will come down to three key factors.
“First and foremost, it’s the education and then you have to look at the player-coach relationship and the competition part, not only in the conference, but also during practice,” he said. “I’m trying to compete for a job as early as possible. If I don’t get to play at least I’ll get to compete for a job as a freshman. Those are three pretty important things.”
Scout.com ranks Elliott as the 129th best wide receiver in the country.