He also plays football like a volleyball player.
These are not digs or insults, but compliments sent Jeudy’s way by Northeast High assistant football coach Troy Gore. Gore said all of those things and more during a wide-ranging conversation about what Georgia is getting in the newest member of its signature “Wolfpack” wrecking ball OLB room.
“Georgia got a gem,” Gore said. “They got them another all-star from Philly who is going to follow the same path as Mark Webb and Ahkil Crumpton and D’Andre Swift. They got another gem like those first three Philly kids that went there. It is the same mentality. I know them all well and Elijah fits right into that Philly heart and that Philly grind and that Philly toughness but still off the field, they would give you the shirt off of their backs.”
Let’s take a few of those Jeudy traits on, starting with a wicked first step off the ball.
“When he takes that first step, this guy is gone,” Gore said. “His first step is just mind-boggling how fast he gets off that ball. I remember playing opposing teams and after the handshake after games, the other team was going to the referees and saying they were not calling offsides enough on Elijah. He was getting that good of a jump. They were already saying that about Elijah in the tenth grade. He wasn’t offsides, but his takeoff was so quick. I remember that vividly when he was a sophomore. He was getting those whining to the ref’s calls.”
Elijah Jeudy is a “nerd”
Gore called Jeudy “the perfect student-athlete” more than once in his conversation with DawgNation.
He sized him up as the first one on the field and the last kid off. The same type who will be the first one to start lifting and then the last one to leave the weight room. He can see him playing outside linebacker.
Or at defensive end in a two-point stance and even his hand in the dirt.
The 247Sports Composite rating chart Jeudy as the nation’s No. 12 weak-side DE. That slots him as the nation’s No. 167 overall prospect.
“He’s one of those players who can stay on the field no matter the down and distance,” Gore said. “He can cover the flat. He can cover a tight end. He can also go get that quarterback.”
“What Elijah’s specialty is that is he is a nerd. He’s a straight-up nerd for the sport of football. He can tell you every defensive line move. He can tell you every stunt. He can tell you every kind of twist, turn, jab, step, stab and whatever else you got.”
That comes from Northeast defensive line coach Deion Barnes. He played at Penn State and also briefly in the NFL. Barnes is now a graduate assistant on the staff at Penn State.
“He taught Elijah to be a nerd and so Elijah would sit down and watch all the YouTube videos of all the great defensive linemen and defensive ends and linebackers and learn their moves and techniques,” Gore said. “I’ve been on these visits with Elijah and these coaches use all of their lingos about the defensive line and Elijah knows exactly what they are all talking about. He can speak that language and speak it well.”
“His nerdiness is going to carry Elijah a long way. He’s a geek for football and will be a coach’s dream. When I say Georgia got a gem here, I say that they got someone very special here for their football program. A great asset to that program.”
Geek. Nerd. Volleyball player. Tight end. We’re going to label Elijah Jeudy as all of those things in today’s Jeudy blog. (Elijah Jeudy/Instagram)
RELATED: Check out the DawgNation commitment day story on 4-star OLB Elijah Jeudy
Elijah Jeudy plays volleyball, too
“Elijah is a dedicated volleyball player,” Gore said. “Just as much as he is enthusiastic about football he is as much or more about hitting a volleyball.”
Jeudy does not plan to enroll early in January of 2021. Northeast isn’t on the block schedule to allow him to do that. The COVID-19 shutdown will also close a lot of the other doors and avenues he might have used the last few months and in the upcoming summer to find a way to get the classes online to graduate early in December.
With that, there’s another reason why he might do that. It would be the chance at one more bump, set and spike season.
“He has a senior volleyball season that is still coming up,” Gore said. “He might want to hang around for that because he is so competitive. He probably doesn’t want to enroll early because he doesn’t want to let his brothers down on the volleyball court or the football team.”
“He has that same competitive nature with the volleyball players.”
The Northeast staff likely aren’t big fans of his passion for volleyball, but they have to love how he develops and competes in a sport that is not his best. We now see a lot fewer two-sport and three-sport athletes at the high school level.
DawgNation believes Jeudy will be the first former varsity volleyball player to go on scholarship for the football program during Kirby Smart’s time at Georgia. It will be at least that long since a new Bulldog came in who played high school volleyball like Jeudy.
It most likely will go back a lot farther than that, too.
“I talk about volleyball tongue-in-cheek because we didn’t like him playing volleyball,” Gore said. “But that’s how competitive he is. In the same spirit, he couldn’t let his football players down, he couldn’t let his volleyball brothers down. They were going for the state title. They were doing everything in the spring and he was like ‘I’m playing’ and we were like okay. We needed him for 7-on-7 and I needed him in the weight room because volleyball is a spring sport. We needed him in the weight room so he would come and get his lifts in early. He’ll drink the nutritious stuff he needs to drink and then he will jog off and go into the gymnasium and start volleyball practice or go to a volleyball game.”
Jeudy never missed a lift. He always sought to prioritize those volleyball matches, too.
“He was able to do both of them while maintaining a strong three-point-something high GPA,” Gore said. “The kid is phenomenal, man. I’m telling you the kid is phenomenal.”
Elijah Jeudy committed to Georgia after just one visit on his birthday over the weekend. (Elijah Jeudy/Instagram)
Elijah Jeudy is a very good high school tight end
Looking for another nugget that won’t likely be found on his prospect profile page? Gore shared another one.
“Elijah is one of the top tight ends in our state also,” he said. “But he broke his hand his junior year so he couldn’t play offense. He just played strictly defense. That’s why you see him with a cast on his arm on those highlights.”
Jeudy went both ways at tight end and at defensive end as a sophomore in 2018.
“He was one of our leading receivers,” Gore said. “He scored multiple touchdowns. He was just unstoppable with his athleticism, his size and his route running. He has great hands. He has great vision on the ball. He can attack the ball and go get the ball. When we play 7-on-7, then Elijah is actually out wide as our receiver.”
“He’s 230 pounds but that’s how athletic he is.”
Jeudy broke his hand early in the 2019 season. He sat out multiple games and came back wearing a cast.
Check out the 2018 film on Jeudy.
Gore serves as the offensive coordinator for the Northeast program under head coach Phil Gormley.
“This senior year I expect him to go back to being our No. 1 tight end,” Gore said. “I am going to have to fight with the other coaches about that. He’s not done at tight end for us. He’s a Division One tight end. You just don’t take that type of talent at that position off of the field. You can put him at tight end with his hand in the dirt. You can put him at H-Back. Tight end in the slot. We can line him up out wide and he can run great routes and catch the ball.”
To be clear, he is being recruited by UGA as a full-time OLB to join “The Wolfpack” for that Dan Lanning position group. It only adds to the evaluation here by the Bulldogs.
Jeudy is an impressive athlete. His prowess on the volleyball court and at tight end validates that.
“He’s a 6-foot-3 kid and a 235-pound body,” Gore said. “He’s going to be a tight end for us his senior year. He’s not going to be a full-time tight end for us, but when we really need him I am going to have to use him. Without a doubt.”
Elijah Jeudy? Volleyball? Tight end? It is amazing what you learn when looking for information aside from stars and rankings about the next prospect who just chose Georgia. (Elijah Jeudy/Courtesy photo)
The Jeudy family is filled with drive and talent
Gore is a long-time area football coach, but he actually works as a first responder in his community. He’s a fireman. Elijah’s father, Cliff Jeudy, works as a corrections officer and as a bodyguard for hire.
His ties to the Jeudy family go back to when Elijah was in middle school. That’s when he was a head coach at a different school. Gore hoped to see Elijah enroll and play for him, but it didn’t work out that way.
“I saw something special in him then early,” Gore said. “The work ethic. Very quiet. But when he’s under those lights, he is something different. I gave him the name of ‘Mayhem’ because anywhere else he is the calm of the storm. Just calm. But when he is on the field, he just causes so much havoc. He’s a special player.”
When it comes to numbers at Northeast, Gore has a role in assigning those jerseys. Gore said he’s always had a special place in his heart for that No. 16. A lot of his former impact players have donned that jersey.
Jeudy also chose that No. 16 as a way to honor the passing of his beloved aunt. Her name was Carla Jeudy. She was just 36 years at the time of her passing.
“That number 16 represents the year of my life that I lost her at,” Jeudy told DawgNation earlier this year.
With that, he sees a strong family. He did bring up that he sees a lot of Cliff Jeudy in the new Bulldog commit.
“I attribute his strong character, his personality, the way he carries himself and his background to his mom and his dad,” Gore said. “Cliff and Key [his parents] they do an awesome job with him. They don’t take any mess. Dad is a corrections officer. Mom is a teacher. They don’t take no mess at all.”
“On all of our college visits, when they could come they were right there with us. They have walked alongside Elijah all the way down this road so far. He has a beautiful family, man. They are all very talented. They are singers. They are like the perfect blend.”
“Elijah is one of those kids who lives in a really rough city but Elijah has that tough city mentality but not that tough street mentality where he follows the streets and stuff. Mom and Dad don’t play that. But he still has that blue-collar and earn it grit and grind-for-it mentality and attitude. He’s going to get after it and that is going to carry him a long way.”
“That’s the same thing with D’Andre Swift. He has that same mentality as D’Andre Swift. The same thing. The work ethic. You see their Dads look exactly alike with the big arms. The same thing, man. It is the same type of family and home structure. Very humble and polite kid. But when those lights are on in that rectangular turf and Astroturf they are just straight ‘Dawgs. Relentless.”
“Then off the field, they are just beautiful nice kids from strong families. His sister can be an R&B star one day the way she sings. The Jeudys are the best, man. They are the perfect family. The perfect football family.”
Swift and Webb are members of the same church as Gore. When he says that, he doesn’t say it lightly.
“Those guys are the blueprint for success in our community,” Gore said. “They were transparent in their work ethic, too. It meant that everyone saw them and saw what it took to be a success on that next level and what it still takes. Since they’ve done that, the kids up here see that and know they have a path to follow like the one Swift and Webb and Crumpton have taken to Georgia.”
The school marquee at Northeast High School put up a big congrats on his commitment to UGA on the day after Jeudy’s birthday decision.
That time he grabbed the headset and started calling plays
There was this one very good story. It came against Swift’s alma mater.
“I remember we needed a touchdown against St. Joe’s Prep,” Gore said. “Elijah got on the headset and said ‘Coach I can do it’ and we’re playing them in the city championship. We lost. But we’ve got this ‘Pop’ pass we always throw to Elijah. He got on the headsets and told me to run the play.”
Key reminder: Jeudy is rated among the top outside linebackers in the country. But he’s also a really skilled tight end.
“Next play we called it,” Gore said. “Perfect pass. Elijah went for like a 50 or a 60-yard touchdown. On that ‘Pop’ pass. Beautiful.”
That was during Jeudy’s sophomore year. Before that broken hand.
“He just ran away from everybody at 225 pounds,” Gore said.
Jeudy’s junior film from the 2019 season is embedded below.
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(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)