Jalen Elliott's previous visits to Notre Dame were short and sweet.
The 6-foot, 185-pounder from Chesterfield, Va., spent a day on campus over the summer and returned on Sept. 5 for the home opener against Texas. Both trips were filled with activities and he didn’t have much time to soak up the environment.
On Saturday, the first day of his official visit, Elliott slowed things down to learn more about his future home.
“It went great,” Elliott said. “It was a great experience. I’ve been there a couple times before but this was my official visit so I had a good chance to get there and have a good weekend with some of the other commits and the coaches. It was great; I got to meet a lot of the players on the team and really got to see who I’m going to be playing with. It was good to see that. I didn’t have to worry about camping or anything like that. I just got to relax and watch the game.”
Elliott earned an Irish scholarship after his first visit and committed shortly after. He returned for Notre Dame’s 38-3 win over the Longhorns.
With Saturday’s game being played against rival Southern Cal, the atmosphere on campus was much more intense.
“You could tell that this was a bigger game,” Elliott said. “It was a rivalry game. There was a lot of people there and even with it being fall break you could tell how great the fans are there. It was a great atmosphere.”
Spending two full days on campus let Elliott spend more one-on-one time with the Irish staff.
He liked what he heard from defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and defensive backs coach Todd Lyght.
“They really told me how much they need me to come in ready and to be ready to learn and work hard,” he said. “I know I have to work and earn a spot to play early. I can’t wait to get there.”
Elliott could be used as either a safety or cornerback.
Notre Dame running back Josh Adams served as Elliott’s host for the two-day visit, but he spent time with several other Irish football players and even some visiting recruits.
That gave Elliott the opportunity to serve as a recruiting ambassador.
“My roommate in my hotel was Damar Hamlin, so I got to talk to him and see where his head is at,” Elliott said. “I did a little recruiting, as much as I could. I feel like he definitely likes the school but I think his biggest decision is if he whether he wants to stay close to home or if he wants to get out. My thing to him was coach Lyght is pushing us in the right direction. We need a lockdown corner and I feel like he can be that person.”
Elliott, who expects Lyght to visit him at L.C. Bird High School on Thursday, won’t arrive in South Bend until the summer as his school doesn’t allow students to graduate early.
“I don’t have that option,” he said. “My school doesn’t have semester courses but if I did I definitely would. I’m just going to have to get into the playbook after signing day with one of my coaches that played college ball and just try to work on it from there. Once I get there I’ll just have to catch up with people who already have been there.”