Irish win over Elliott

Notre Dame commitment Jalen Elliott was in South Bend last weekend to watch his future teammates dominate Texas.

Jalen Elliott committed to Notre Dame in June, but that didn’t stop the Irish staff from sweetening the deal during an unofficial visit last weekend.

Elliott, a 6-foot-1, 181-pound athlete from L.C. Bird High School in Chesterfield, Va., led his team to a win on Friday then drove to South Bend to catch the Irish opener against Texas. He arrived on campus early enough Saturday to enjoy a special lunch.

“When we first got there we got to chill in the players’ lounge and got to meet some of the players who were on their official visits,” Elliott said. “We hung around and went to the bookstore for a little bit and got some stuff. We came back and then we got to eat, which was amazing. It was great food out there. We got to eat as much as we wanted and they had a candy wall. They had everything: M&M’s, Gummies, there was everything up there. It was great.”

After lunch, Elliott joined the rest of the visiting recruits in greeting the Irish players on their way into Notre Dame Stadium.

“We got to take some pictures in our jerseys and stuff like that and then we took a walk over to the stadium,” Elliott said. “We were by the gate so when the players walked in we got to see the atmosphere and then we walked in right behind them, which was really cool.”

Inside the stadium the recruits watched the pre-game routine up close.

“We were all in the locker room and watched the guys get ready,” Elliott said. “Then coach (Brian) Kelly talked to us. That was really cool because he got to talk to us and tell us what we’re going to be doing next year. He just talked to us about how our seasons were going. It wasn’t about all they were doing that day which was cool because it was a big game and he took the time out to do that stuff.”

Notre Dame hammered Texas, 38-3, behind a 313-yard, three-touchdown performance from quarterback Malik Zaire.

“They were really dominating,” Elliott said. “Malik came out and he was on fire. The defense was flowing to the ball well. The front seven was crazy. They got so much pressure on the quarterback. If they can do that it makes the DB’s job so much easier in terms of just making plays on the ball. If they keep that up they can have a great season.”

The post-game celebration was just as exciting as the game.

“We went into the locker room and got to see coach Kelly talk,” Elliott said. “Malik got the game ball. We were looking at it and he didn’t have any incompletions, just a couple of drops. He had a great game so he got the game ball and they sang the fight song. I have a lot to learn. I don’t know it at all.”

During the visit Elliott spoke with several other prospects, including future teammates Tommy Kraemer, Liam Eichenberg and Dillan Gibbons. He also spent time with Notre Dame recruiting targets Melquise Stovall, Eric Cuffee, D.J. Morgan, Demetris Robertson and Donte Vaughn.

He noticed a similarity between all of Notre Dame’s defensive back recruits.

“When you look in the room we were all around 6-2 so they’re recruiting big DBs,” he said.

Notre Dame’s committed prospects did their best to influence the others to join them in South Bend.

“I feel like we kind of have a pull on Donte and a pull on D.J.,” Elliott said. “Eric and Mel hit it off and Demetris, I know they all really liked it but they’re high major (prospects) so you don’t know how long they’ll wait to commit.”

Elliott and his Bird teammates are off to a 2-0 start after Friday’s 35-7 win over Dale. Elliott returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown in the win.

“They tried me a couple times and I had a pass break up and a tackle,” he said. “On that last little play I just kind of sat on the route. He threw it and I jumped up and caught it and just took off.”


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories