SPARTANBURG, NC (WJHG/WECP) A local product is hoping he can do enough in camp this month to win a roster spot with the Carolina Panthers.
Rutherford alum Javien Elliott had to walk on at Florida State and eventually earned playing time and a scholarship.
He was an undrafted free agent a few years ago signed by the Buc's, and eventually earned a roster spot and playing time there.
After two plus seasons in Tampa, he decided to move north, signing in the offseason with the Panthers. And now he's written and talked about one of the big surprises of Panthers camp, picking off passes, making plays.
Many who cover the team now believe he's a legit contender to start at nickel for Carolina. So it's obvious he is once again proving to be the engine that could!
"It's been great man, I've embraced the change." Javien says. "This is exactly where I want to be. So you know, just coming out and having fun every day. It's a great team, great teammates, that makes it easier to have fun. Every day I come out here, my plan is to prove myself. To never get satisfied, to never get comfortable. And to come out here, make plays and have fun."
And it's safe to say Elliott has caught the eye of the most important man roaming that practice field for the Panthers, head coach Ron Rivera.
"He's a guy that's done a great job for us, he looks very good out there." Rivera says. "And he's learning. You can see he's getting more and more comfortable and his confidence level is rising. He's communicating very well. And that's probably one of the biggest things the young guys have to learn is they've got to communicate with the guys around them. He's done that very well and I think that comes from, again he has NFL experience. A guy like that can really help you."
So it's obvious Javien is in the right spot at the right time, and that's how he planned it when he signed with Carolina!
"Same situation, I just put it in God's hands. This is where I wanted to be. I wanted to come to Carolina, and it happened and I'm really happy and I've got a great opportunity. Man it's like every time I close my eyes I see myself playing for them (the Panthers). It was just in my heart. I played against them for three years and just always, this is where I want to be."
Perhaps Javien first caught the eyes of Rivera and the Panthers coaching staff when he picked off Cam Newton last season. Whatever the case, everyone seems happy Elliott is a Panther.
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