JUCO DT Elliott not in Kansas anymore

There’s one thing Demarcus Elliott knows for sure.

He’s not in Kansas anymore.

The incoming sophomore defensive tackle is a product of Garden City, Kansas, both as a high school graduate and then a year at Garden City Community College.

And while junior college isn’t for everyone, it was just what Elliott needed, as he helped Garden City reach the 2018 National Junior College Athletic Association national championship game, recording 19 tackles, 4 1/2 for loss with one sack.

“It helped me a lot,” he said last week, just over a month after becoming the final member of Indiana’s 2019 recruiting class. “Most of the people who play junior college are DI bouncebacks or going to be DI, so I think it’s prepared me well for this level and this type of atmosphere.”

What the 6-foot-3, 325-pounder wasn’t prepared for was the routine of life at the Division I level.

“In JUCO, we didn’t have a strength and conditioning coach when I was there, so this is a lot different,” Elliott said. “We just did workouts by ourselves. It was hard to have a routine because some guys were JUCO for a reason and not very dependable sometimes, so I would just be by myself and it would be different here and there.”

There’s no such issue at IU, where, if anything, a day off would be a welcome change. However, Elliott has no plans for that. He’s got work to do in preparation for his first Big Ten season.

“I want to drop a few more pounds, about five, get more lean, more muscle,” Elliott said. “I want to perfect my craft and get all my little fundamentals down better, so it can be a building block.”

Sophomore defensive end James Head has been Elliott’s mentor since arriving in Bloomington, helping the newcomer with plays and reading plays. So far, it’s been a smooth transition.

“I think I’m blending in great,” he said. “There’s an instant feeling that we’re all here for the same purpose, so I guess that’s why we get along so good.”

Upon his signing last month, IU coach Tom Allen expressed his optimism for Elliott.

“He brings us the size and mass we need along our defensive line,” Allen said in a news release. “Demarcus has a high motor and is a high character young man that is going to do the little things that we need to help make our program special.”

But in the meantime, Elliott won’t being confusing Indiana with Kansas.

“I would describe JUCO as a teaching moment more than anything,” he said. “Playing there against guys from DI, you’re getting that level of intensity, just on a smaller stage I would say.”

8 comments

  1. Price read my mind on this one. I did kinda forget about this guy when I was mentioning Juan Harris and Big Sio the other day.

  2. Size, experience, maturity and perspective. Looks and sounds like an excellent recruit.

    I’ve always thought the key to recruiting JC players with the physical attributes and athletic talent, is to find the ones with the right attitude. This guy sounds like he has a great attitude.

  3. Remember 2 years ago, Juan Harris wasn’t all that effective as a freshmen because he wasn’t able to shed blocks. I’d caution against expecting too much from any first year Big Ten defensive lineman no matter how massive they are. Hopefully, Juan will have a break out year along with Jerome Johnson. I just hope for some quality backup plays from Sio and Elliot.

    1. Harris probably won’t ever be much of a pass rusher but that’s not going to be his role as a NT in this defense. He’s a two down player. He just needs to be stout in the run game and clog up the holes the OL is trying to open.

  4. He shows so far he is a young man that really understands what is needed to be a B1G DL man. IU is building a B1G DL and I hope this year Elliott and the others show they can get the job done to slow down the rushing game and to help provide a pass rush.

    Getting into a structured S&C program may turn him into a better player than he showed in JC. If he can gain muscle and slim down some while learning better technique to go with his effort and motor he can be very good in the B1G. Anyone thinking coach Allen isn’t a very good coach doesn’t look at the changes he has made to try and improve the program. Everything doesn’t always work out but if you don’t make changes you won’t improve.

    1. “We just did workouts by ourselves” That quote is kind of crazy to read. Garden City is a JUCO powerhouse and I would think they would have a pretty structured S&C program even if they didn’t have a S&C coach on staff. Hell, most high schools have a pretty structured S&C program now.

      1. That surprised me also. Because he was dedicated to do it all on his own at GC he may become a weight room superstar in Bloomington. Be good to have an overachiever again like Martin and Hoss Hoff were.

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