He is one of the top football recruits in the country, but if you meet him off the field odds are you have no idea. Elijah carries himself just like every other high school student. By limiting his social media presence, he avoids extra attention and distractions. Instead, he focuses on football.
Growing up, Elijah – the second oldest of eight children – spent a large part of his childhood watching his father, Alex Molden, take the field for the Chargers. His father passed down a love for the game and by the time Elijah started playing flag football in second grade, he knew he also belonged on the football field.
Looking back on high school, Elijah is thankful to have been surrounded by positive teammates who shared the same desire to be successful. Because of the hard work put in during practice, the team felt confident in their ability to walk off the field victorious every Friday night.
“Once we put in our work, we just had fun,” he says.
Throughout high school, Elijah made his presence known on both offense and defense. Despite suffering back-to-back high ankle sprains, he battled through the pain and finished his high school career with over three thousand all-purpose yards. At cornerback, he recorded 74 tackles.
With the help of Elijah’s threatening presence on defense, the team went undefeated last season. But an undefeated record was not enough; the team was chasing something even greater. And they got it. In the state championship, they trampled over their opponent in a 62-7 win.
While some players enjoy the recruiting process, with excessive praise thrown at them, Elijah did not find it enjoyable because he recognized that all of the attention was conditional. Throughout the process, programs pulled him in different directions to try and lock him down which made the situation even more stressful.
Relief came on November 12, 2016 when Elijah officially ended his recruitment and committed to the University of Washington. Fans were shocked as it was widely predicted Elijah, the son of a former Duck and lifelong fan, would commit to Oregon. However, no school compared to Washington.
Washington has a perfect pairing of the best coaches in the nation and players who promote a second-family-like atmosphere. His reasons beyond football include his love for the location. Not only is Seattle close to home, it is also one of his favorite cities in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, the school’s prestigious business school will propel him for life after football.
One aspect of Elijah’s game that gives him an upper hand is his impeccable football IQ. His dad shares knowledge acquired through years of playing in the league and passes on lessons to help his son - whether it is how to break down film or what to watch for on the field.
He knows the ins and outs of his defense and after applying the strategies passed on to him, knows the ins and outs of the opposing offense too. It becomes quite difficult to win a matchup when a defender knows your offense just as well as you do. His football IQ is unparalleled.
In college, Elijah strives to work everyday at his craft and never become complacent. He is determined to succeed both on and off field. As for academics, he hopes to be named first team all conference for academics and make an impact that stretches further than his accomplishments as a football player.
With his vast knowledge of the game and impressive work ethic, Elijah Molden has everything needed to become one of the biggest defensive threats in college football. In a few years, you may see a new generation of the Molden family take the field in the NFL.
Elijah’s Advice: My advice would be to not let anyone tell you you can’t do something.