Although he’s ranked by Scout.com as a three-star wide receiver, Notre Dame commitment Jalen Elliott might be better known as a shutdown defensive back.
The 6-foot, 185-pound cornerback/safety prospect broke up six passes and recorded four tackles on his way to being named the East defensive MVP at the Virginia High School Coaches Association all-star game at Liberty University on Sunday.
“It feels good to know that I can play with some of the best in the country,” said Elliott, who played wide receiver and safety in the game. “But, the work doesn’t stop.”
Elliott, who committed to Notre Dame in June, also caught one pass for 17 yards in a losing effort for the East. That versatility is what attracted the Irish in the first place, with Notre Dame planning to employ Elliott at safety or cornerback in South Bend.
Irish defensive backs coach Todd Lyght made an in-home visit with Elliott earlier this month and head coach Brian Kelly is expected to hit Virginia in January.
“Coach Lyght just said how much they really wanted me and we talked a lot about other stuff than football,” Elliott said. “We talked about his experiences in college and the NFL, stuff like that.”
Elliott next plans to visit South Bend for the Blue-Gold Game on April 16. He expects to reconnect with many of his future teammates during that weekend. He’ll even see some of his competition from within his class as safeties Devin Studstill and Spencer Perry will enroll early.
Notre Dame’s next freshman class has already developed a strong bond.
“We have a group message so we stay in touch pretty much every day,” Elliott said. “We just talk about different things. We’re getting pretty close. It’s a good group.”
Elliott is also looking forward to the Fiesta Bowl, where Notre Dame will play Ohio State.
“I can’t wait to see it,” Elliott said. “I’ll probably have a little bowl party at the house.”