Elkins commits to play at MSSU

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Brian Elkins will sign an official letter of intent to attend and play football for Missouri Southern State University in Joplin today (Wednesday).

Elkins, considered possibly one of the best athletes to ever come out of the Cassville area, saw interest from Southeast Missouri State University, Southwest Baptist University and Missouri State University and will most likely play linebacker for the Lions.

At Cassville, Elkins played both sides of the ball, lining up as a tail back on offense and linebacker on defense. The 6'2" 205-pound senior has been a starter since his freshman year, a feat that no other player under Coach David Large's tenure has been able to claim.

On offense, Elkins will leave Cassville with a bevy of records. The young player destroyed teams with his power rushing and accumulated more then 4,000 career yards and close to 70 touchdowns.

In addition he also has good hands, which has and will continue to help him in his linebacker role, where he often caught the ball out of the backfield. Elkins also was used many times on Cassville's trick play, the half-back pass. His extensive experience with Cassville's offense will continue to help his defensive skills.

On defense, Elkins played the linebacker position. Elkins brought down close to 100 players in his career. In fact, he became so dominant that teams would purposely run and pass the ball to the other side of the field just to avoid him. Elkins caused plenty of turnovers this year, including one interception that he ran back for a touchdown. "Brian's understanding of the game and great athleticism make him a very desirable prospect," said Coach Large.

During his high school career, the newly signed Lion was awarded an immense amount of honors.

Elkins garnered five All-Big 8 Conference honors, including two first team selections his junior and senior years and an honorable mention his sophomore season. In 2005, Elkins was named Big 8 Offensive Player of the Year, and in 2006, he earned the Defensive Player of the Year honor.

In addition to conference recognition, Elkins was a first team All-District selection as runningback and linebacker this past season as well as being named District Defensive Player of the Year. As a junior, Elkins earned first team All-District recognition as a runningback and All-District second team honors as a linebacker.

Most impressive is Elkins' back-to-back All-State first team honors his junior and senior years, making both the Associated Press and Coaches Association's lists.

Individual honors aside, Elkins was also a pivotal part of a Wildcat team that earned two district championships, a conference championship and the school's deepest run ever in the playoffs during his four years. Cassville's overall record over the past four years was 34-9.

Elkins said he is excited about attending Missouri Southern. He cites an official visit he took there last week as a helpful decider for him. He is not sure of what he would like to major in yet but thinks possibly business or teaching (coaching).

Elkins has no illusions about playing football after college, but after hearing about Lion alumni Allan Babre receiving an NFL combine invite, Elkins had this to say about his chances and if he would like to play football at the next level.

"You know I love football and try to work hard so you never know," said Elkins. Either way, Elkins will show up to Missouri Southern next fall ready to do his best.

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