Andre Elliott is not your average Penguin. He has responsibilities and pressures that many student athletes do ot have to deal with as a parent. “At the end of the day I don’t have time for TV and video games, I would rather go and spend time with my kids. I have a daughter, a son, and a stepson. I prefer to just go home and spend time with my girl and the kids, that is a good night to me”, said Elliott. He does manage to sneak a Tweet in now and then, but for the most part, he is one of my favorite Penguins over the past few years and has earned the respect of many with his great on-field skill set.
Paneech: Let’s start with the obvious. You were a carryover from last year under Coach Heacock, now you are playing for Coach Wolford. What is the difference between this year and last?
Elliott: They were actually pretty similar. They had the same goals in mind and have a common goal which is to get back to the playoffs where we used to be. The difference now is the enthusiasm. Coach Wolford brings a lot of enthusiasm and that rolls over to the players to bring to the field. When everyone is enthusiastic about the game, we just fly around and have fun.
Paneech: What about position coaches, is there a bigger difference this year than last?
Elliott: They are pretty much different even though they both worked really hard with us. Last year, Coach K (Kanatzer) did a lot in the film room with us. This year, Coach Stoops seems like he works harder on the field with us. They are both pretty tough coaches.
Paneech: You and a few of your fellow Penguins follow paneech.com on Twitter. What is your Twitter ID so we can build you some followers and talk about social media networking and sports. Who follows you that is big?
Elliott: My Twitter ID is Dre_Elliott2 and I tend to follow back anyone who follows me. Donald Jones follows me, the biggest response I ever had was from Kevin Hart, that was about it. I was active on Twitter early on and it just got old to me, so I fell back, now I am active with it again. I can easily see it shifting to something else because now my little sister is on it (laughing).
Paneech: You are majoring in Psychology. If I were an incoming freshman, what teacher should I take and what teacher should I maybe sidestep?
Elliott: I’m looking to finish up in December. The teacher to take would be Dr. Clayton, I love Dr. Clayton. I really don’t know who to avoid, I have had classes with mostly all of them and they all came off pretty good. There are some funny teachers like Dr. Flora that I would also recommend. The best class I ever took here at YSU though, is fencing. It’s pretty interesting getting to stab people for no reason (cracking up). The worst class I ever took was biology, I just couldn’t get into it.
Paneech: It has been said by the players, the coaches, and some of the media that if you guys play the way you did in the first half of the Penn State game that no one else left on the schedule can beat you. Do you agree?
Elliott: I agree with that. The rankings really don’t mean much in this conference because every team is a pretty good team and at anytime, anyone in the conference can beat anyone else. We have to play everyone in the conference as though we are playing for a National Championship. Being picked to finish seventh burned us, but it is a position we have to earn, and we failed to do that last year, so we have to fight for respect now.
Paneech: Who are you closest with on the team?
Elliott: Probably Brandian Ross, we take pretty much the same classes with the same major. My brother is actually his roommate so we do hang out a lot. I am still close with my family and they visit frequently. My mom just left today to go back to Cleveland and my dad gets down here when he can.
Paneech: If I were a high school senior in Youngstown, what would you say to make me want to go to YSU?
Elliott: There are a lot of things– the coaching staff, the fans, the intensity of the conference, the chance to play for a National Championship. The school is great and the enrollment has been growing, there is a great support system here.
One Word Answers
Musician That People Wouldn’t Believe You Listened To: Lady Gaga.
Favorite Restaurant: Cheesecake Factory. (Big ups to Dre_Elliott2@twitter.com on that).
Favorite TV Show: Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
Favorite Pro Wrestler: Hulk Hogan?
Favorite NFL Player: Ed Reed.
Favorite NBA Team: (pauses) Uh.. Cavaliers, even though LeBron is gone.
Order At Taco Bell: #6 Two chalupas and a soft taco with a strawberry fruitista freeze.
Best Football Move: My spin move coming on a blitz against Western Illinois last year.
Biggest Moment On The Field: 30-yard interception to the house against Northeastern last season.
If You Could Pick Anywhere To Live, Where Would You Go? France.