QB, team on hot streak

Q&A Nick Elko, Arundel, Football

October 10, 2007|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun reporter

Arundel senior is Anne Arundel County's leading passer at the halfway mark of the regular season and has led the No. 4 Wildcats to a 5-0 record.

An All-County quarterback last year, when he threw for 1,814 yards and 18 touchdowns, he has thrown for 1,078 yards and 19 touchdowns this year.

Elko has completed 63 percent of his passes and has thrown just three interceptions. He also has run for 224 yards and scored two touchdowns after running for 292 yards and five touchdowns as a junior.

Elko, who is 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, reads defenses well and can pick teams apart in running the no-huddle spread offense.

He is the team's kicker this season and has converted three field goals.

Elko plays forward on the basketball team and is an outfielder on the baseball team. He has a 3.5 grade-point average and is ranked 96th in his class of 528 students.

You seem to have all the qualities college teams are looking for in a quarterback. How many offers do you have?

I don't have any. It's kind of frustrating, and I'm just hoping, because football is the sport I want to play in college. I did well at summer camps at Maryland, Rutgers and James Madison, but nobody has made an offer. I can't figure it out, but, as I said, I'm hoping.

Has the team's 5-0 start surprised you?

Definitely surprised me because we have played some really hard teams, and our offensive line is a little undersized, but they have done a great job blocking bigger guys. I honestly thought they might get pushed around, but they have held their own.

How important was it to beat defending county and regional champion Broadneck, 34-28, in the first game of the season?

It was real important. It definitely jump-started our season.

What are your thoughts on the county league this year?

There are a lot of really good teams, like Broadneck, North County and Southern, who we have played so far. Old Mill is coming up on our homecoming [Oct. 26]. It's a very competitive league. Can't take anybody for granted.

How good is your offense, which is averaging 35.6 points a game?

It has to be one of the best in the whole area. We have a lot of veteran guys, and our younger players are learning and gaining experience. Everybody is on the same page. Our receivers turn 5-yard plays into 50-yard plays and make great catches downfield. A few of us have grown up together and know each other well.

Do you call any of your plays?

Sometimes, if I see something in the coverage I can take advantage of, I'll check off at the line. I try to make everybody happy. I mainly get my plays from [offensive coordinator Dave Doy].

How much do you like the no-huddle?

It's awesome, fun, definitely high speed and puts some stress on the defense. It's a lot more exciting than lining up and pounding the ball. [Coach Chuck Markiewicz] puts a lot on my shoulders, but it's a team effort. The coaches do a good job controlling things. We study film every day, and I've learned a lot.

Do you and/or the team have a pre-game routine on Fridays?

Right after school, we eat at the Subway in Odenton and eat the same thing every week. We have a BLT every time. I guess it's superstition. And after we eat, a bunch of us go over to Brandon Johnson-Farrell's house and talk about the game before we go back to school.

When did you start kicking field goals and extra points?

I kicked on JV a couple of years ago but didn't kick on varsity until this year. We didn't have anybody, and I stepped up to do it. With me kicking, we have a couple trick plays we can use. I've got three field goals, and my longest was 33 yards.

Do you have a favorite quarterback?

Peyton Manning. I like the way he plays. He runs the game with such ease, and he is so down to earth.

What's on your iPod?

A lot of things. Lil Wayne, stuff like that.

What's your favorite movie and TV show?

Harry Potter and Lost.


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