Mount Carmel quarterback Jack Elliott jumps at big-time opportunity, commits to Vanderbilt

Commodores became Elliott’s first Power Four offer last week

Mt. Carmel’s Jack Elliott passes against Downers Grove North in the Class 7A championship on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023 at Hancock Stadium in Normal.

Mount Carmel junior Jack Elliott didn’t see a point in waiting to decide where he’ll play collegiate football if he already knew the answer.

Even if it came on the same day of a campus visit.

Vanderbilt offered the Caravan quarterback his first Power Four offer last week and he quickly fell in love with the school. Once he officially stepped on campus Tuesday, Vanderbilt had everything he was looking for in a school.

Elliott committed to the Commodores.

“When Vanderbilt offered, it changed my perspective,” Elliott said. “It’s a top-10 school in the nation, it’s up there with Yale and Harvard from an academic standpoint and it’s in the biggest football conference in college football, the SEC. It doesn’t get bigger than that.”

Vanderbilt offered Elliott on Wednesday and joined mostly Ivy League and Mid-American Conference schools like Harvard, Yale, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Ohio and others. Elliott had considered going to Yale or Harvard to earn a good degree and play for a good football program, but that changed once the Commodores swooped in.

Elliott felt an instant connection with Vanderbilt’s coaching staff once he stepped on campus. He built a strong connection with Jerry Kill, who joined the staff as a chief consultant to the head coach and senior offensive advisor in January.

Kill was Mount Carmel head coach Jordan Lynch’s head coach during his time at Northern Illinois when he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 2013. Elliott felt he would be in good hands after Kill helped Lynch succeed with the Huskies.

“It’s just a brotherhood there, it’s different,” Elliott said.

Elliott also liked the plan and faith the Vanderbilt staff presented him. Everyone on Vanderbilt head coach Clark Lea’s staff made an impression on Elliott during his visit, even the defensive coaches.

With the transfer portal set to get more names with the end of spring practices in the coming weeks, Elliott believed now was the best time to commit.

“It just shows how much I’m needed in the program and that they want me to be there and help them win,” Elliott said. “They don’t want to go in the transfer portal, get a new guy who they don’t know if he’ll be good, doesn’t know if they will pan out and they don’t want to develop someone else. They think I can come in there and play at a high level. That just really showed how much they believed in me.”

Vanderbilt is betting on Elliott after a strong junior season where he helped the Caravan win their second straight state championship. Both 247Sports and Rivals list Elliott as a three-star dual threat quarterback.

Elliott finished his junior season with 3,148 passing yards and 34 touchdowns while also rushing for 847 yards and seven touchdowns. He earned All-CCL/ESCC honors.

Elliott went to Mount Carmel to play in big games and compete for state championships. He’s hoping to do the same with Vanderbilt.

“I love playing in front of big crowds,” Elliott said. “I love playing big-time football, I love big-time games.”

But before those Saturdays in the SEC, Elliott will return for senior season to help the Caravan win a third straight state championship. While he’s waited his entire life to play college football, he knows there’s more work left to do before realizing his dreams.

“The total focus is on winning a third state championship,” Elliott said. “There’s kind of nothing else to think about. I’m going to Vanderbilt and we’re winning another state championship.”