Chowan University Football
Parents: Earl and Virginia Ijames
High School: Corinth Holders
Height, Weight: 5-foot-7, 180 pounds
Why Chowan? “The position they gave me is just a great fit, at outside linebacker. I think I can be successful there.”
Notable: Elion played defensive tackle most of the time for Corinth Holders as a senior, helping the Pirates make their first playoff appearance and winning season. He finished the season with 43 ½ tackles and 2 ½ sacks. “It was a great feeling being the part of starting something here,” he said. “We had a rough start in 2011 but 2012 was a season where we came together and our hard work paid off.” … He is the first Pirate to sign a football scholarship. … Learning to read plays from a new position is something Elion is focused on has he gets ready to play college. “I’ll have to read plays from the quarterback to the wide receivers now,” he said. … Elion knows playing college football as a linebacker less than 70 inches tall will be a challenge and he’ll run into doubters about his ability. Much like many foes did when they lined up against him when he played defensive tackle for the Pirates. … “I knew I’d have to work hard, really fine tune my hand skills and speed to be effective out of a four- or three-point stance,” Elion said. “But that’s the thing about football, it really doesn’t matter about your size, it’s all about your skill.” … Corinth Holders coach Barry Honeycutt raved about Elion’s ability to read plays and react to plays quickly. “He’s the only player I’ve ever seen tackle the runner on a jet sweep from a defensive tackle position,” Honeycutt said. “He’s just got that rare combination of knowledge of the game and athletic ability.” … Elion grew up playing with Zebulon teams in the East Wake Football League. He was part of championship teams in the Mini-Mite and Pee-Wee divisions in 2003 and 2006. One of his earliest memories in athletics is making the front page of the Eastern Wake News celebrating the win in 2003. … He will be rejoining some of his teammates and opponents from those youth football days at Chowan.
Corinth Holders coach Barry Honeycutt: “Elion is a super athlete and a great kid. He filled several roles for us in terms of playing defensive tackle and outside on the edge at end or linebacker. He has the speed to run inside, just gives you a lot of possibilities. He’s almost impossible to block.”
Compiled by D. Clay Best