Photo by Kevin Decloedt/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Jalen Elliott Wants To Lead The Best Secondary, Defense & Team In America

August 7, 2019
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Notre Dame safety Jalen Elliott couldn’t have been happier for camp to start this week. The senior from Virginia knows camp is a grind, but the fact the Irish were back playing football got his blood flowing.
 
“We’ve been training for a few months now,” Elliott said. “We understand if you put the work in and what we get out of it. It’s about progressing and building on each day.
 
“It was great to be out here. It’s always unbelievable when you get back on the field. Going through the training process is great, but there is nothing like coming on the field.”
 
Part of the offseason training process was spending time in the film room with fellow safety Alohi Gilman. The two were able to break down past mistakes to be even sharper in 2019.
 
“It definitely helps,” Elliott explained. “We see it from each other’s perspective. He’ll watch me and I’ll watch him. We’ve played both positions. We’ll say, ‘You could have shot that faster or your eye got bad here.’ It’s constructive criticism and stuff we can get better at on our own.”
 
Elliott and Gilman should form one of the nation’s top safety duos in the country this fall and it starts with healthy competition.
 
“He’s such a competitor,” Elliott said of Gilman. “It helps our room because when he competes, we all compete. We’re all extremely competitive. We all want to make the play. We’re all extremely happy for each other when we do make a play. As you can see, when we make a play, we’re going to get up and get excited about it.”
 
Both players will also be the first to give credit to the defensive line for making life easy. Notre Dame also boasts one of the nation’s top defensive lines in the country and Elliott expects them to create plenty of opportunities to make plays this fall.
 
“It makes our job so easy,” laughed Elliott. “We just sit back there and watch them do their thing. When the ball goes up, we go get it. Those guys upfront, they are some dogs. When you get to play behind a defensive line like that is a great opportunity to go make plays to get off the field.”
 
The month of August is a long one as camp takes a toll mentally and physically on players, but Elliott is embracing every part of it because he knows there is potential for another special season.
 
“It makes it even better,” said Elliott. “Whenever you have something to reach for or something to attain, it makes the drive and push even better. We’re looking at it that way. We’re all coming in with a mindset of being the best secondary, the best defense and the best team in the country.
 
“It’s not easy because the road is hard, but it makes it a little easier to come out every day and grind for your brothers.”

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