IMG Academy 2018 running back Jamal Elliott is a perfect example of the plethora of talent his team possesses.
Elliott is a talented four-star with 17 scholarship offers, though he isn’t IMG’s starting running back. He received only four carries against Grayson (Ga.) High School on Saturday night behind first-team running back Asa Martin, who is also a four-star with a list of offers.
However, when Elliott got his opportunity to play in the fourth quarter, he took advantage and made the most of it. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder rushed for 22 yards (5.5-yard average), showcasing a powerful, determined and downhill running style.
The Clemson Insider was at Grayson for IMG’s 26-7 win, and recently caught up with Elliott.
“I felt pretty good. Right now, I’m just being patient,” Elliott said. “I came in as the second running back, and the only thing I can do is continue to be patient and wait my time.
“Even though I got in the fourth quarter, they’re just doing what is best to help the team. When I come in, I hope I can contribute a little bit. I just did what I did.”
Because the game was nationally televised on ESPN2, many people were able to see what Elliott is capable of.
“Playing on ESPN, that was an experience for me,” Elliott said. “It was the first time my family back home got to see me play on TV. It was a great experience, and I’m very privileged to have this opportunity.”
Elliott owns offers from Appalachian State, Boston College, Charlotte, Duke, East Carolina, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, N.C. State, Ole Miss, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and West Virginia.
Along with South Carolina and Tennessee, Elliott visited Clemson over the summer in July with teammate and four-star wide receiver Brian Hightower.
Elliott told TCI after the Clemson visit that he had a “great” experience, citing Clemson’s atmosphere and facilities.
He plans to take more visits after the season, and hopes to make it back to Clemson.
“I most definitely want to go back and check out Clemson,” Elliott said. “Since I have old teammates there, it’s always cool to go back to see them ball and show me around.”
Right now, East Carolina is Elliott’s leader because of his strong ties with the coaching staff. First-year head coach Scottie Montgomery recruited Elliott while he was the offensive coordinator at Duke from 2013-15. In addition, first-year running backs coach Antonio King was the head coach at Durham (N.C.) Hillside High School when Elliott was there for his freshman and sophomore seasons prior to his transfer to IMG.
“East Carolina University is my top school right now because of my relationship with coach Montgomery and coach King,” Elliott said. “It’s a local school and I feel like it’s more close to home, so that’s a good look.”
As a sophomore in 2015, Elliott ran for 637 yards and 12 touchdowns while also totaling 296 receiving yards and six touchdown receptions. As a freshman, Elliott had 1,237 rushing yards and 14 scores.
Photo Credit: HighSchoolOT.com