Ezekiel Elliott is a running back for the Dallas Cowboys, and he had a fantastic rookie season and showcased his talent. We have high expectations for him in the seasons to come, but here are 10 things you perhaps didn’t know about one of the most dominant and talented young running backs.
10. Athletic Family
His father Dawn was a heptathlete with the Missouri Tigers, whereas his mom Stacy was a linebacker for the football team. She was a part of the squad which lost to Colorado on that infamous “fifth down.” Here is an anecdote about Zeke, when he was a kid:
“During a scrimmage, the always physical running back kept laying out the same player, play after play, even though he didn’t have the ball. Bam, bam, bam. Someone finally said, ‘Zeke, why you hitting that kid so hard?’ Raeffel Merriweather, Zeke’s coach from ages 7 to 13, recounted Elliot’s answer: ‘Coach says you don’t block, you don’t get the ball.’”
9. Problems Off the Field
Even though he had an almost perfect rookie season, a woman accused him of striking her, and the Columbus city attorney issued a statement which says that no charges would be pursued against Elliott “due to conflicting and inconsistent information.”
8. Dominant High-School Athlete
He was at John Burroughs, a private school in Missouri, where he finished with more than 4,800 rushing yards and 90 touchdowns. However, in all three title games, his team lost, which was devastating.
“You put in so many hours with your boys, your brothers, all season for the past four years, and you aren’t able to accomplish what you wanted to,” Elliott told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “So it hurts a lot. But you have to be strong. I have to be strong for my boys back in the locker room. I can’t be moping around. I have to show them that it’s not over, it’s not over. I believe in them. I believe they can come back next year. They are going to win a state championship.”
7. The 12th Best RB of the 2013 Class
ESPN said this about Ezekiel Elliott: “He has a very good blend of size, speed and strength, but is not elite in any one area. He has a solid build and the body structure needed to run between the tackles and remain durable. He’s a productive stretch and cut runner, finds the cutback quickly and shows good burst when getting north through tight seams. He can stop and change direction on a dime, displaying very good feet, balance and body control. He is dangerous with his ability to avoid defenders at the line of scrimmage and quickly bounce to the corner. He is difficult to line up for a direct shot through traffic and he will take advantage of over-pursuit. He is a sudden, fluid cutter but lacks the premium explosion and power.”
6. Showing Off His Stomach
We see Elliott showing off his abdominal muscles from time to time, but he did it since his Burroughs days. He became known for tucking his jersey up to expose his stomach at Ohio State before the NCAA banned the practice and he is a self-proclaimed “hero in a halfshirt.”
His high-school assistant coach at the time, John Merritt said: “I had to tell him, ‘Ezekiel, you have to wear a shirt to class.’ He’s always been an individual and his personality will always shine through. He’s a magnet. People love him.”
5. Ezekiel Lost His Shirt In Las Vegas
The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Packers, but that didn’t stop Elliott and Dak Prescott from going to the Las Vegas club Hakkasan for a Steve Aoki concert. Eliott went without a shirt, and he was a huge hit.
4. His Dog Has Instagram
Elliott is a dog-lover, and he has two dogs. The one in the photo is Ace, and he has its own Instagram account, and the other one is Chase, but someone stole him, unfortunately. Perk up, because he was returned to the owner.
Last year was the “Year of the Wolf” for Elliott so he got a tattoo which you can see here. This guy also had one after the Ohio State’s national championship victory.
2. He Is Not Afraid To Speak Up
After the Ohio State Buckeyes had lost to Michigan State 17-14, Elliott was disappointed. He recorded his lowest 33 rushing yards on 12 carries. He had this to say:
“I’m disappointed in the play-calling. I’m disappointed in the situations that we were put in, and I wish it all played out differently. It is very disappointing. In the one drive that we had where we kind of had some momentum after we scored on the strip-sack, the plays we ran, we ran a lot of gap schemes and we were gashing them. You guys saw that on that drive. We had a lot of momentum.”
1. He Lost A Friend
His friend from Ohio State, Kosta Karageorge died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The whole team was devastated, and Elliott mourned: “He was a guy that would brighten your day. No matter what was going on you walk into the room, you see him [and] you don’t have a choice but to smile. Our hearts dropped. It was just a hard moment for all of us. For me, personally, that was my first time losing someone that I was very close with,” ESPN reports.