Maranatha football's Andrew Elffers headed to Azusa Pacific
Senior quarterback says comfort led to his decision to play at DII school.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Maranatha's Andrew Elffers selected DII APU over Division I UNLV, his second choice, along with Idaho, Sacramento State and Eastern Washington. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
The 18-year-old Arcadia resident said he was most at ease during his visits to nearby Division II Azusa Pacific University and was impressed so much by Cougars coaches that he verbally committed to the school late Tuesday evening.
"It just felt like the right fit and I can't say enough about the program," Elffers said. "The coaches seemed the most interested in me and I liked what I saw."
Elffers selected APU over Division I UNLV, his second choice, along with Idaho, Sacramento State and Eastern Washington.
"I know people will ask why, but I know where I want to go and it's APU," Elffers said. "I'm comfortable with APU being my choice."
Elffers suffered a lost season his senior year of 2012 after the 6-foot-3, 200-pound signal-caller tore the meniscus in his right knee in the first quarter of the team's fourth game of the season back on Sept. 14.
Elffers missed the rest of the season and finished with 677 passing yards and three touchdowns versus five interceptions.
Those numbers paled in comparison to Elffers' stats his first two seasons.
In his junior year, under first-year coach Pete Karavedas, Elffers threw for 2, 029 yards and 22 touchdowns against only seven interceptions as Maranatha finished 8-3.
Perhaps it was Elffers' sophomore year that put him on the map, as the first-year starter threw for 3, 328 yards and 37 touchdowns versus only 10 interceptions in his breakout year.
As for the Minutemen, Maranatha finished 8-4 and second in the Olympic League, while advancing to the quarterfinals of the Mid-Valley Division playoffs.
"Andrew is a great kid. He's young, but he's very mature and he understands the game," Karavedas said. "I know things didn't go the way he wanted his senior year, but he has a bright future."
There was some speculation that Elffers chose APU after St. Francis quarterback Jared Lebowitz, a Pasadena resident, verbally committed to UNLV last week.
Yet, Karavedas dismissed the connection.
"Jared's decision absolutely had nothing to do with Andrew choosing APU over UNLV," Karavedas said. "[Elffers] was offered by UNLV first and could have gone if he wanted to. He chose APU, he didn't settle on them."
As for the injury, Elffers said he's near 100%.
"I have a great physical trainer in Dave Johnson and we're almost there," Elffers said. "I'm excited to be getting close and can't wait to throw passes for APU."