Elijah Rushing – Family, Football And Recruiting


Salpointe Catholic edge rusher Elijah Rushing is all about family. It likely wouldn’t take the five-star football player more than five minutes to begin talking about his family in conversation.

“I’m just always around my family. Outside of school I don’t have a huge friend group because my family is my main friend group. They’re my support system that allows me to excel and to be the places that I am, it’s just a blessing.”

His family is full of athletes – Elijah’s older brother, Cruz Rushing, is a familiar name in the Arizona football community. Cruz was originally committed as a PWO to ASU while in high school, he decommitted and chose to enroll at the University of Florida. In January, Cruz returned to Tucson to join the Wildcats. Since beginning his collegiate football career, Cruz has been along for the ride to help navigate Elijah’s recruitment. 

“My brother Cruz has been helping me a lot. He’s been to two colleges, one being the University of Florida and recently UofA. So he knows two different worlds already and how to play in college. He knows who I am and we’re both similar. He knows what it’s going to take for me to rise in the system and how to be a DI football player. So he’s definitely a mentor because he’s walking in the steps before me. So he’s a blessing to me.”

According to Elijah, his younger brother David is the best athlete in the family. Although, you may see David referred to as “Agent 0” on social media. 

“I’m pretty sure it was like, either this season or this past I think he just chose the number zero instead of number eight, or number five, but he chose zero. My dad just came up with the nickname Agent Zero, and it just always stuck. You know, it just made him unique among his peers, but he’s definitely like, one of the top in his grade. It’s something that makes him stand out and be the person that’s going to stand out when he gets where he’s going to get.”

But the family’s athleticism doesn’t stop there. Elijah boasts about his sister Michelle’s success on the track too. 

Along with help from his older brother, Elijah says his father is the one who will always give it to him straight. 

“He’s the person that’s gonna tell me all the facts. Whereas, you know, people take this process and it’s a great positive goal, But you’re gonna see the glitz and the glamour and everything that’s shiny, but he sees through all that. He’s going to tell me what the facts are and what he thinks the best situation so I can make my decision for me.”



Elijah Rushing is the No. 8 overall recruit and No. 1 for his position in the class of 2024. In Arizona, he’s the No. 2 recruit, second to Dylan Raiola – the nation’s No. 1 prospect. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound edge rusher had 73 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks and 59 quarterback hurries. 

The five-star edge rusher made it clear that his goal is to continue to put Salpointe Catholic football on the map. It’s a community and a legacy that he is fully bought into. 

“The legacy of Salpointe has always been generations of hard workers and discipline. And that’s from team to team, we have always been disciplined. You have Bijan Robinson, Lathan Ransom, Devin Bush, I mean there’s always notable players going through there. We’re hard-working kids that want to prove we can play anyone in the state. I know Phoenix is on a huge pedestal and we’re this city down below but we’re going to come up there and prove our point. It’s not only Phoenix, there’s lots of us coming out of Tucson.”

On April 18, Elijah earned the award for Junior Student-Athlete of the Year at Salpointe Catholic. 

“It was a blessing. You know, I’m just a person who’s about my business. I just do what I need to do to move forward and be the best version of myself. So it was a blessing to be noticed and receive an award among my peers.”

Rushing has also expressed interest in finding ways to give back to his community. He says where he’s from shaped the person that he is and he’s hopeful to have more opportunities to give back in the future. 


Elijah initially planned to make a commitment before the start of his senior season. However, he’s since decided to narrow his top 12 schools down to his top five. From there, he doesn’t plan to make a commitment until mid-season. 

“Just going through this process, coaching and programs change drastically, so fast. You could have a head coach at this place and then he’ll move to another place. And you may have a coach where you’re going there for them, but their aspirations are that they’re looking to move up, or they’re looking to get a head coaching job. And some of them are not going to stay where they say they’re going to stay and their seasons gonna determine everything. So I just want to see how like first few games go see, see how they move and then get in there as soon as you can.”

Right now, Elijah’s top 12 schools are Arizona, Florida, Georgia, University of Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oregon, USC, Tennessee, UCLA and Washington. 

Elijah says there are three major values that will help determine the programs that land in his top five.

1 – Relationships with the coaching staff, “no salesmanship.”

2 – Development: “Ultimately I want to go to the NFL. I know everyone in my position wants to go to the NFL. I want to see how they can get me to the best version of myself and make sure they won’t take away from the trajectory that I’m going in.”

3 – Education/School: “I need something that can me hold me up when football is over. Whatever career I go into, I want to be able to build a network and that network could help me get to my career goals.”