On the heels of a successful season, Midland junior Steve Elmer didn’t spent much time relaxing. Instead, he hit the weight room.
The Notre Dame recruit stands tall at 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds and is a formidable presence on the offensive line. And not many defenders have had success getting past Elmer.
But that doesn’t mean he’s resting on his laurels. For him, his senior season is a chance to get better, improve on his technique and work on making the transition to the college game.
It shouldn’t be a tough transition. The offensive tackle is on the ESPNU 150 Watch List and was named to the ESPNHS Underclass All-American team as a junior, a year in which he led Midland to a 9-2 record and a spot in a Division 1 district championship.
Colleges continue to send letters to Elmer with the hopes they can still sway him from his Notre Dame commitment. But Elmer said he’s solid with the Irish and is looking forward to a dominant senior campaign.
So what else did one of the nation’s top offensive linemen in the Class of 2013 have to say? It’s time to Get Familiar with Steve Elmer.
ESPNHS: What’s keeping you busy in the offseason?
Elmer: I’m working a lot in the weight room, just trying to stay in shape. I’ve been working on a lot of agility drills and technique and footwork drills.
ESPNHS: Your junior season was really a breakout year for you. In your mind, what changed from your sophomore season to this year?
Elmer: I definitely got better as a player. I got stronger and faster and knew our offense better and definitely had better technique. The difference was night and day. In my spring camp after my sophomore season, I worked a lot on pass sets and run blocking and first steps. I didn’t really work on that much before. This season, my pass protection was way better overall and my run blocking was better, too.
ESPNHS: You’re committed to Notre Dame, but there have been stories recently that said other schools have picked up their recruitment of you. Have you softened your stance?
Elmer: I think [the stories are a] little misleading. I’m 99 percent with Notre Dame, and that other one percent is just schools sending me letters and stuff. It’s pretty crazy. One person gives their take on my recruitment and the next thing you know, you’ve got all sorts of weird stories out there. But I’m still committed to Notre Dame.
ESPNHS: What was it you liked about Notre Dame that made you choose so early?
Elmer: It was everything about it, really. I love the campus a lot. I like the coaches and the people and the tradition and the academics. Everything was a perfect fit for me.
ESPNHS: Have the Notre Dame coaches talked with you at all about what they are looking for you to improve on in your senior season?
Elmer: Not really. It’s kind of a weird situation. I haven’t really met the new O-line coach (Harry Hiestand) in person. I’ve talked to him on the phone. But I’m waiting to talk to him in person about specific things. I just know they want me to get bigger and faster.
ESPNHS: What are some of your expectations for Midland, and for yourself, this season?
Elmer: I expect my team to have another good year. Hopefully no losses. We’re playing a tougher schedule this year and we’ll be facing some different programs, and we’re looking forward to that. I’d like to keep up on my technique for pass sets, and for run blocking I’d like to improve my blocks on linebackers. I don’t think I get quite low enough.
ESPNHS: What do you do in your spare time?
Elmer: I don’t have a ton of spare time. When I’m not working out, I’m doing homework. But I like to fish, I like to hang out with my friends and play video games.
ESPNHS: In recruiting circles, you’re practically a household name now. Have you been surprised by how much attention you’ve gotten?
Elmer: It’s been pretty cool. You go online or you read the newspaper and there’s stories about you all the time. And to be able to go to all the places I’ve been to and see new places, that’s definitely cool. I didn’t let it all get too overwhelming, though. I made my (college) decision early.
School: Midland (Mich.)
Position: Offensive tackle
College: Notre Dame
Food: Barbecue ribs
Movie: “Good Will Hunting”
Athlete: Tim Tebow
Video Game: “Battlefield 3”
Musical Artist: Billy Joel
Christopher Parish is an associate editor with ESPNHS. You can follow him on Twitter @CParishESPN.