There are more than 900 days until Nathan Elliott (Celina, Texas/Celina) can graduate early and enroll in college, if that’s the route he chooses.
And yet the southpaw quarterback with the soft touch and bruising running style is already daydreaming about what that time is going to be like, exactly how he’ll factor into the 2015 college football landscape.
While most of those who have just completed their freshman years of high school are mulling their summer vacation options, Elliott is busy debating which college camps to attend.
The latest came Sunday at Texas and it exceeded his expectations.
“It was amazing. I had a great time,” he said. “It was really nice to meet all the coaches and the quarterback coach, Coach [Bryan] Harsin. I was only with him for five or six hours but I already like him a lot. If I got the chance to go to Texas that’s exactly where I would want to go. It was an honor to go down there.”
The Longhorns are still a ways away from determining which 2015 quarterbacks it will go after, but they’ve got the inside track on Elliott if he matures into a player they believe can help them down the road.
Elliott, who is 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, promises to keep working to give himself a chance to be that guy.
“I am going to keep working hard because I want to win state for Celina and go to a big college, maybe Texas, and win a national championship,” he said.
Elliott’s hard work was noticeable at Texas’ camp where thought he competed well. He also laid the foundation for his overly ambitious ways throughout his eighth grade year when he made the decision that he would be the starting quarterback at Celina, a perennial 3A power, as a freshman. It wouldn’t be an easy task with an upperclassman on the roster.
However, after leading a comeback victory in the second game of the season against Plano Prestonwood, the job was his.
“He’s a leader. He’s a very hard worker and an intelligent, bright kid,” said his teammate Jake Raulerson, a 2013 Texas commitment. “He can move well. He thrives under pressure. He showed a lot last year, especially in our game against Prestonwood. He brought us back from a big deficit in his first varsity start ever. It was incredible.”
Prestonwood led 33-21 with 5:43 left in the game when Elliott made his presence known on the varsity stage with a 61-yard touchdown pass. Then, with 37 seconds left, he took a quarterback draw 14 yards for the game-winning score. It was his second rushing touchdown of the game.
“The job was pretty much mine after that,” Elliott said.
He would go on to complete 106 of 209 passes (50.72 percent) for 1,460 yards and 22 touchdowns (nine interceptions), and rush for 586 yards and nine scores all while leading Celina to the third round of the state playoffs.
He saved his best game of the season for when Longhorns defensive ends coach Oscar Giles was in attendance scouting Raulerson in a second-round game against Lucas Lovejoy.
Elliott rushed for touchdowns of 30, 63, 13 and 2 yards, and also threw an 88-yard touchdown pass in a victory.
“That was my best game of the season and I guess that led to [Texas’ interest] and then Jake helped get my name out there.”
Because of performances like that, Raulerson calls him by the nickname “Tebow 2.0,” because of his admiration for the New York Jets quarterback and similar playing style.
“That’s what we call him,” Raulerson said. “He’s a left-handed quarterback that can bench 315 pounds right now. He’s really strong. He’s going to be a monster. We ask a lot of our quarterback and he provides whatever you ask for.”
Elliott doesn’t mind the Tebow comparisons.
“That’s my guy. I want to be just like him,” said Elliott, who was recently clocked at a 4.52 40-yard dash. “I don’t want people to say they can just sit back and play pass coverage because I am always going to throw. I want them to have to guess.”
One day after attending a camp at Texas, Elliott traveled to Lancaster for a Texas Tech satellite camp. On June 19 he’s headed to San Francisco for two days to camp at Stanford.
“It should be really fun,” he said.
So should these next 900-plus days.