USAAAB: Steven Elmer

USAAAB: Steven Elmer

Notre Dame commitment Steven Elmer had a bit of a rough start to his week at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

"I got here late on Sunday, it kind of started off pretty rough," Steven Elmer said. "Then I slept through all my alarms that next morning, so that added to it. But other than that, things have been pretty good. I'm getting used to being back at practice and in pads banging heads. But it's fun being out here with all these guys. These guys are so high-caliber."

Elmer has had things especially rough … as the West team's left tackle he spends time alternately dealing with 310-plus-pound A'Shawn Robinson and 205-pound speedster Torrodney Prevot.

"I think [the challenge is] not really so much playing left tackle as much as just playing lineman in this game," Elmer said. "I'm not … no one is used to playing against guys at this level. It's just a big adjustment speed-wise and how strong these guys are and how talented they are."

In addition to the competition, Elmer said he enjoyed spending time with his future Notre Dame teammates.

"It's really cool to have so many guys down here," Elmer said. "I hung out with Corey Robinson and John Montelus last night at dinner, just getting to know each other better. We had already hung out quite a bit the last three months but it's nice to be down doing this stuff there."

Elmer has been committed longer than any other player in the 2013 Notre Dame class, pulling the trigger in September of his junior year.

"I've always wanted to go there," Elmer said. "I just wanted to get a degree from there and I committed when we were 0-2 last year. So it wasn't because of all this [success]. I knew this stuff was coming, but it wasn't a 100-percent football decision. But I'm really excited about football as well."

Wait a minute. So Elmer knew this was coming?

"I was a little bit surprised to see how things went this year," Elmer admitted. "I thought it was going to be a good year, but maybe not this good."

But like so many of the Notre Dame commitments at the Army game, Elmer said he was swayed in large part by the academic side of things.

"More likely than not, you're not going to be playing football for the rest of your life," Elmer said. "So you're going to have to have something to do after that. Notre Dame sets you up perfectly for that … it's just a great place."

Elmer said he also had high hopes for Notre Dame's bid for the BCS National Championship against Alabama.

"I think it will be a close game," Elmer said. "But I think we're going to win, for sure."

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