"I went over the offense with the coaches and that's my running back, coming out of the backfield, getting the ball 20 or 30 times a game," Elam said. "I know I can carry that kind of load. I'm getting stronger and I'm determined."
On the other hand, that's not necessarily bad news for Martinsburg's Justin "Cookie" Clinton, the runner-up for the Kennedy Award last season.
Clinton, who quarterbacked the Bulldogs to a state championship in December - their third consecutive title - is listed as a wide receiver among UC's recruits.
However, Kirkland said "the best 11 will play," and wouldn't rule out Clinton as a candidate at quarterback.
"He's a guy who will find a spot on offense for us," Kirkland said. "He can do a lot in the return game and as a specialist. The biggest thing is he's tremendous with the ball in his hands.
"We'll get our best 11 out there. I don't fear playing true freshman or fifth-year seniors, we want to put them out there and put us in the best position to win. We promise the guys the opportunity to compete and that's what they get."
Among the other state recruits UC has added are Logan Cox of Parkersburg South, a 6-3, 205-pound safety who verbally committed to FBS program Akron before signing with UC.
He had 90 tackles, nine tackles for loss and five interceptions as a senior for Coach Jon Bolen's Patriots last season.
"I'm fired up about him," Kirkland said. "We were very fortunate to get him."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstev...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4837.