The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 24, 1986 - Page9
Senior John Elliott stacks up
pancakes for hungry 'M'
By PHIL NUSSEL
SHe'sthe big guy on the
No, he's the really big guy on
the offensive line.
IT'S HARD to imagine any
one guy standing out on a line
that averages 280 pounds, but John
"Jumbo" Elliott pulls this trick on
the Michigan offensive line. The
senior checks in at - this is not a
misprint - 6-7, 306 pounds.
That's really big.
Size, though, isn't the only
thing Elliott brings to the line. He
brings superior blocking talent to
an offense averaging just under
four touchdowns a game. Elliott,
who moved to strong tackle this
season, makes the lead block on
75 percent of the running plays.
WITH THE likes of speedsters
Jamie Morris and Gerald White
behind him, not to mention pre-
quarterback Jim Harbaugh,
Elliott has to move fast. He has 5.3
speed in the 40-yard dash
(considered good for a lineman).
And in the 10-yard run, he says he
is as quick as most running
Elliot moved to strong tackle in
the spring from the weak side.
Michigan's coaches questioned
whether Elliott could handle the
duties on that side as well as last
year's strongman Clay Miller,
but after making 84 percent of his
blocking assignments against
Oregon State last Saturday, Elliot
has answered most questions.
"He's doing pretty well," said
offensive line coach Elliot
Uzelac. "He's getting more
aggressive and he's more intense
and that's what we need out of him
"MY GOAL is to block over 90
percent in a game this season,"
Elliott said. "A 100 percent is
pretty rare at Michigan, it's only
been done twice since they started
taking the stat (about 10 years
Uzelac, who is known as a
tough grader, compiles the
blocking percentage statistic.
Nobody is complaining about his
grades, at least not too much.
"He gave me a 70 percent
(against Notre Dame)," Elliott
said. "But that's debatable.
They're grading a lot harder this
year. (Uzelac's) expectations are
much greater and he's much more
"I'VE ALWAYS been that
way," Uzelac said. "I grade
tough. If you get a good grade
from me, then you know that you
While Elliott's blocking
efficiency keeps improving, he
prefers to talk about a different
stat - the "pancake," a category
he leads right now ahead of strong
guard Mark Hammerstein.
"The type of block I like the best
is when I get into a defensive
player and I can explode into
him," Elliott said with a grin.
"The pop term for that is
A PANCAKE occurs,
according to Uzelac, when the
lineman "completely dominates
the defender and is able to push
him down and land on him."
Elliott, last week's offensive
hustler, recorded two pancakes
against Oregon State.
The pancake statistic
originated last season, and
Miller won the title over Elliott,
who made 20.
"I have a lot of competition this
year because we have such a big
line," said Elliott, a Lake
Ronkonkoma, N.Y. native. "I
think we're going to rack up quite
a few of them."
INDEED, Elliott is part of a
"big line." Starting from the left,
the Wolverine offensive line
features Mike Husar (6-3, 289
pounds), Michael Dames (6-2,
258), John Vitale (6-1, 289),
Hammerstein (6-4, 285) and
Elliott. Injured tackle Jerry
Quaerna will bring his 6-7, 282
frame back next week.
On average the Wolverine line
outweighs the defending line by
30-40 pounds. Against Florida
State, Michigan will enjoy a 30-
Elliott, however, has not
always enjoyed such great size
advantages. He came to
Michigan in 1983 weighing 285
pounds. A few months later he
caught mononucleosis, and his
weight crashed to "just" 245
pounds - the weight he carried
into his first start against
Wisconsin in '84.
SINCE THEN Elliot has
started every game, except for last
year's Indiana contest. He
missed that game because of a
back injury which affected him
all season. He wore a special
electrical device on his back to
alleviate the pain in his spine.
Elliott is healthy so far this
year, and he is happy with his
progress. His endurance and
strength have both improved over
the summer (his bench press rose
from 410 to 450).
"Jumbo's getting better all the
time," said head coach Bo
Schembechler, who tagged Elliott
with that nickname two years
ago. "But he's still not where we
expect him to be. He should be a
It's hard to imagine Elliott not
being dominant. Really.
INTRAMURAL TOUCH FOOTBALL
Sign up at IM Sports Bldg., 11 amm - 4:30 pm,
Wed., Oct 1 through Fri., Oct. 3
TOUCH FOOTBALL MANAGERS' meeting
Mon., Oct. 6, 7 pm, IMSB Main Gym
Touch Football Play Begins Thu., Oct. 9th
Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Offensive tackle John "Jumbo" Elliott gives quarterback Jim Harbaugh a real bear hug during last Satur-
day's game. The senior lineman was named Offensive Hustler of the week for his performance against
Kirk stunned by
(AP)-Fired basketball coach
Dana Kirk said yesterday he did
not know why he was dismissed
from Memphis State University.
"In the letter that I received,
there was no reason or anything,"
Kirk said during his weekly
radio sports show.
KIRK, who led Memphis State
to a national ranking and the past
five NCAA playoffs, was fired
Kirk has refused to comment
on the dismissal, but he took part
as usual on WHBQ radio's
weekly call-in sports program.
He declined again to discuss
the firing, but he said he was
surprised by the dismissal.
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