Florida Gators 2021 TE Commit Nick Elksnis' SI All-American Profile
One of the more underrated flips of the offseason came early as 2021 tight end Nick Elksnis out of Episcopal Jacksonville (Fla.) flipped from Penn State to Florida in March.
A big-bodied tight end, Elksnis is one of the most intriguing tight ends of the class, he sports a frame that is extremely moldable and the skillset to match exactly what head coach Dan Mullen and tight ends coach Tim Brewster is looking for.
Elksnis would flip from the Nittany Lions to the Gators the same day he was able to take a visit to the Gainesville campus in March for Junior Day. Speaking to Sports Illustrated - AllGators in March, Elksnis likened himself to Gators tight end Kyle Pitts, sporting a similar frame at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, along with a play style - it just makes sense.
"I watched what they did with Kyle Pitts this year and how they're saying that's what they want to do with me it makes complete sense," he recalled from his conversations with Brewster, Mullen and the Gators coaching staff during the visit.
"I love to block, I love to catch the ball," said Elksnis. "I just love being a tight end because you get the best of both worlds. I pride myself on my blocking, I feel like - you know there will be a lot of people who are bigger than me when I get to the college level, but they're not going to be able to outwork me."
Last season, Elksnis catch 36 passes for 665 yards and seven touchdowns, according to MaxPreps.com, illustrating his ability not only to stretch the field, but also to find the endzone. Time will tell whether all of this comes together when he finally plays at Florida, however, the potential is absolutely there.
Below, you can find Elksnis' scouting report from Sports Illustrated All-American. The inaugural, 25-man Sports Illustrated All-American team of the top prospects in the class of 2021 will be unveiled in December.
Prospect: Nick Elksnis
Prospect: Nick Elksnis
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-6, 220 pounds
Position: Tight End
School: Jacksonville (Fla.) Episcopal School of Jacksonville
Committed to: Florida
Projected Position: Tight End
Frame: Solid lower body, lean torso and long arms. Room to be 240-to-250 pounds down the line.
Athleticism: Jumps well. Exceptional hand-eye coordination. Breaks into cuts with a natural fluidness. Runs really well in the open field. Solid change-of-direction skill relative to size, getting to top speed at an above-average pace.
Instincts: Times just about everything well. Catches the football as naturally as any high school tight end. As a route runner, stems his routes to disadvantage defensive backs. Can break off route against defender’s leverage and use wide catch radius as a barrier.
Polish: Sets up routes by stemming defensive backs like a college player. Times jump well to catch the football. Advanced route runner for his age. Consistent pass-catcher who has worked to combat drops.
Bottom Line: Elksnis is a bona fide spread tight end that catches the football like a wide receiver. Really good at stemming his routes and timing his cuts to gain separation from defensive backs. Potential to be a multi-year starter for the Gators as a threat up the seam as well as in traffic.