SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Steve Elmer came to Notre Dame a year ago as a highly-touted tackle out of Midland, Mich., but he's now entering his second season playing guard along the Irish offensive line.
Elmer, a rising sophomore, has ran with Notre Dame's No. 1 offensive line at left guard this spring. He started a handful of games at right guard last fall after Christian Lombard underwent season-ending back surgery, too.
But the move inside hasn't been frustrating for Elmer, who said the most difficult aspect of it was not knowing where he'd ultimately play last fall. Now that he's locked in at guard, he feels like he's in a good position to grow as a player.
"It's never easy, but it's definitely different," Elmer said. "I'm focused on one position, and that's nice that I can kind of pour all my efforts into learning one spot and really try to hone my abilities at that position."
Elmer said he started to figure things out at tackle last year right around when he was flipped to guard, and sometimes he got mixed up moving between the two positions.
It's worth noting Irish coaches have said nothing is set in stone with the offensive line, which currently has Ronnie Stanley at left tackle, Elmer at left guard, Matt Hegarty at center, Lombard at right guard and Mike McGlinchey at right tackle.
There's a possibility Elmer still winds up playing tackle this coming fall, especially if Notre Dame wants to keep Hegarty in the lineup when incumbent starting center Nick Martin returns from an injury in August. And while Elmer is glad to focus on playing guard, his knows because of his versatility things could change at some point.
"Wherever the coaches think I can best help Notre Dame win, that's what I want to play," Elmer said. "Right now, that's guard and I'm happy with that."