But the former Daniel Boone standout said he plans to be ready when the time comes.
The left-handed pitcher is scheduled to report with other incoming freshmen to Knoxville on July 6. But after talking with Vols coach Tony Vitello recently, the situation, like so many others nowadays, is wait and see.
That hasn’t taken away Elliott’s excitement about eventually playing for the Vols.
“I still can’t believe I get to play baseball at a place like Tennessee,” he said. “I have been blessed by God who gave me the ability to do this. I am excited about going down there.”
Elliott hasn’t participated in competitive baseball since March but has maintained his throwing routine.
“I’ve been throwing bullpens,” he said. “I like to go with one long one or two shorter ones. I throw every day I can.
“Some people are playing summer ball on teams. Coach Vitello told me if I wanted to play, I could. But he also said I could spend time with family and make sure I was getting my workouts done.”
In the few times Elliott has gotten radar-gun feedback in recent months, his fastball has averaged 88 mph. He has touched 90 a couple of times.
Partly because Elliott didn’t put a season’s worth of innings on his arm in the spring, he said he’s feeling strong right now.
“My arm feels good,” he said. “It’s possibly the best shape I’ve ever been in. I would love to be playing baseball, but this time off has certainly helped my arm. It has given me rest, and I feel like I’m in midseason form.”
Whenever Elliott gets a chance to begin preparing for the 2021 season, he will have to battle for a spot on Tennessee’s 35-man roster. He said he understands a redshirt season is a possibility but plans to work as hard as he can to put himself in position to be active as a true freshman.
One thing Elliott is hoping for in the college experience is the return of Tennessee football.
“It would definitely be a bummer if they didn’t play,” he said. “I’m a big UT football fan. I’ve gone to games as much as I could the past two or three years. I think the program is on the rise and Jeremy Pruitt is a great coach.”
UT’s baseball coaches received high marks as well. Included in the mix is Frank Anderson, who is considered one of the premier pitching coaches in the country.
“I love Coach Vitello,” Elliott said. “And Coach Anderson is awesome. I have talked to him a lot.”
From an academic standpoint, Elliott missed out on summer classes because of the pandemic. In the fall, he said he will likely take five or six classes and it should be a solid challenge.