Zeke The Freak
The Crop Top may be gone...but the legs are not.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have had their fair share of difficulties this year. Plagued by injuries, the receiving corps is limited to perhaps only one true wide receiver. Ten weeks into the season, and their starting quarterback is still not totally clear. However, amid all the inconsistency, there is one man who has not wavered: Ezekiel Elliot.
Over the past 12 games Ohio State has played, Elliott has rushed for at least 100 yards in every one of those games. In 2015 alone, he has amassed over 1,100 yards rushing, with 13 touchdowns. And, he is doing all this while averaging 6.8 yards per carry.
Even with these solid numbers, many are seduced by the even bigger numbers put up by LSU's Leonard Fournette. But then what makes Elliot the best back in the country?
The answer is a little something called "reliability."
When a quarterback drops back to pass, what are two things they need?
First, they need protection. They need to know that when they look downfield, they can count on their blockers to give them the adequate time needed to deliver a good pass.
Second, once the ball is thrown, the quarterback needs a receiver to catch the pass.
We know he can run the ball, but on top of that, Ezekiel Elliot brings both of those things to the table.
In eight games this year, Elliot has been targeted 23 times in the passing game. How many times has he caught the ball? Twenty-three. And those 23 receptions totaled 160 yards. No matter who is throwing him the ball, they can fully rely on Zeke to do something with it.
But what about blocking? Elliott remains the only collegiate running back to maintain a perfect 100% pass blocking efficiency so far this season. Let Zeke tell you himself. In a recent interview, Elliott said, “I started off my football career as a fullback, [blocking was] not something I was too shy to do. I like to hit. I’m not afraid of contact. Blocking is something I definitely take pride in." Doesn't this sound like a man you want on your side when the ball is snapped?
What does all of this mean? Well, for one thing, it means that no matter what he is asked to do, Ezekiel Elliott will do it — gladly. It also means that in Elliott you've got a guy you can trust. Lastly, it means that it's going to be a long day for the opposing defense when number 15 is out there.