Written by Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
Prior to the 2019 season, the Hoosiers were in search of a player that could provide some depth and production along the defensive line. In May, the Hoosiers received a commitment from DeMarcus Elliott, a defensive tackle out of Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kansas. Elliott arrived at IU with the potential to be an immediate part of the defensive line rotation. He stands at six-foot-three and weighs 328 pounds which makes for a good defensive tackle.
Over the first five games of the season, Elliott is now one of the standouts along the defensive line. He is fifth on the team in tackles with 15 and is tied for the lead in sacks with two. For a guy who arrived in May, that’s pretty darn good.
Elliott thinks he has “done really well coming in here from JUCO” he said, “I think I’ve done really well competing and fighting for that starting spot, so I've just got to stay up and keep going.”
Coming from junior college into the Big Ten there will always be a bit of adjustment period. Elliott told reporters on Monday that his biggest adjustment was, “he preparation for each game. It’s way different from JUCO because in JUCO we just practiced three days and just go on the bus and get ready. But here it is so many meetings, so many things we have to do to prepare and it’s way different, and kind of adjusting hasn’t been the easiest thing, but I think now I’ve got the hang of it.”
So how did Elliott end up at IU from a small junior college in Kansas? He described his recruitment process on Monday to reporters.
“It started out pretty late because Coach (Jeff) Sims, my old coach at my JUCO, had been here (on the staff at IU) before, so he called and put in a word for me. Ever since then they just got on me hard. Coach (Mark) Hagen came out to one of my practices and that’s when I got the offer, and everything just kept climbing from there. I took my visit and everything just panned out well.”
Elliott has faced two of the four “beasts of the east” so far this season in Ohio State and Michigan State which has allowed him to feel “way more comfortable now because going into those two games I kind of got those pre-game because you've seen them on TV, Ohio State ranked this much and through all this, so coming in with the hype it was kind of nerve-wracking. But now that I’ve got those two games in, I just feel like nothing can stop me now I’ve just got to keep growing because we’ve got a lot of games left to play.”
The Indiana Hoosiers have seven games remaining in the 2019 regular season beginning with a homecoming matchup against Rutgers on Saturday. They will need Elliott to keep up his level of play if they want to accomplish the goals that they have set this season. So far, Elliott has been impressive, especially given that he has been on campus for five months.