It was apparent after National Signing dDay that some true freshmen, especially on the defensive line, would be required to step up and become grown men in a hurry for the Texas Longhorns.
That doesn’t seem like it will be much of a problem for Jordan Elliott, the former U.S. Army All-American defense tackle-turned-edge rusher. The proof is in the film, and defensive coordinator Vance Bedford’s praise.
“We moved Jordan Elliott outside somewhere around the second week of a two-a day camp. He likes it out there on the edge. On one play, even though he’s a freshman and 315 pounds, he hit one of those offensive tackles and knocked him back 5-yards. He doesn’t know how good he can be. He has the potential, which is a dangerous word, to be an extremely good football player, a dominant defensive lineman. He’s not there right now, but once he wakes up, and starts believing the things we say to him, he can be really special. Hopefully, sooner than later. That means this season.”
At 315 pounds, Elliott is seemingly destined to be a handful in the trenches, but what some might not have expected was how quickly the Houston native would be displaying some impressive technique.
First tackle pic.twitter.com/gAOW5LB8Ho— Œ (@JSZN_) September 8, 2016
That left tackle Elliott tossed aside to make the tackle was potential first-round pick Mike McGlinchey of Notre Dame.
Of course, this isn’t necessarily anything new, it’s just against a more proven opponent on a huge stage.
Prior to the season, just look at how effortlessly Elliott manhandled freshman center Zach Shackelford at the 0:25 mark of the highlight below:
Even at the earliest stages of his career, Elliott is beginning to flash the qualities of a top-tier edge rusher.
He keeps great leverage off the edge and keeps his body low and his hands shooting, and the patience he displayed against Notre Dame and understanding when to discard McGlinchey and make the tackle isn’t something you see from many true freshman in their first game against and NFL-caliber tackle.
If what we caught glimpses of throughout training camp and the Notre Dame game are any indication, Elliott is, as Bedford said, going to be “really special.”