Elisara is having fun again

He was a heralded recruit coming out of Spokane's Ferris High School, but Husky fans have yet to see what all the hype was about and DT Cameron Elisara knows he has two more years to prove the naysayers wrong. After a tough, two-hour workout on Saturday the talented defensive lineman was breathless, but all smiles and he said he's rediscovered his love of the game...

"Man I can't tell you how much fun I am having right now," Elisara said as sweat dripped down his face. "We are working hard and there's no jokes out here on the field because these coaches demand a lot from us, but it's like night and day with how much fun we are having.

"I never hated the game, ever, but I'm having fun again and I love it."

That passion for playing football was what led him to be the 10th-ranked defensive tackle in the country in 2006 with offers from LSU, Nebraska, California, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon and Stanford among others.

However, he redshirted that fall and then played sparingly as a redshirt freshman in 2007, but big things were still expected out of him in 2008 and like the rest of the defense he had a disappointing season.

"We just didn't get it done," Elisara said. "I don't want to criticize the old staff or anything, but we weren't aggressive at all. There were times they took away our playmaking abilities with the scheme they asked us to play.

"Things are totally different out here with the new staff because they want us to attack and dictate to the offense what is going to happen on a play-by-play basis.

"It's just a different mentality and I know everyone is saying it, but the intensity of the coaches is something (the players) feed off and you can see out here when the fans get into it that they are feeling it too."

Elisara said the fact he's one of the proverbial "grey beards" on the defensive line is another thing that drives him.

"After Daniel (Te'o-Nesheim) leaves this season, I'll be the only older guy left so I'm really into making sure guys are coming along to take my place too," Elisara said. "With Alameda Ta'amu and Darrion (Jones) and Everette Thompson and all of the young guys out there, we have the talent to be really good up front, but it's all on us to get it done."

Besides the practice field, Elisara is also getting it done in the weight room. Over the winter the junior lost 15 pounds and 7% body fat while getting quicker and stronger.

"I'm down to about 278 right now and I feel really quick and a lot stronger," Elisara said. "The winter conditioning was totally different with what they had us focused on and it should make us a lot more explosive and a lot quicker this year."

So with all this added enthusiasm and renewed passion, what does Elisara think the future hold?

"We want to win the Rose Bowl," Elisara said. "That's our goal and that's the ultimate for us right now. We think we can do it, but we have a lot of work to do in order to achieve that goal."

No matter what happens though, Elisara will do the work with a smile on his face because that's the only way he knows to play the game.

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