Ezekiel Elliott: 'A Lineman's Mindset, But He Plays Running Back'

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woodi19's picture

The play at Penn State is one of the most impressive things I saw from Zeke all year.  WOW.

Also, a couple of the videos reminded me how bad Corey Smith's hands were at times last year.  HUGE drop in end zone against VT (changed the game) and also on the bomb down sideline against Alabama.  Not to mention the fumble against Oregon.

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analyticalguy's picture

Compare Elliot's effort (and results) at Penn State to that of the PSU's running back on one famous play.  Granted, it was against a linebacker rather than a bear, but still...

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chicagobuckeye's picture

I pity the RB. His O-Line left him out to dry.

What if you don't hear YOLO anymore because everyone who use to say it died?

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Icouldnotgofor3's picture

Smith needs to use his hands more and learn to cradle that rock much tighter in his grasp.

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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ScarletNGrey01's picture

Well ... this season he will have use of both of his hands.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

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NOLABuckeye's picture

Agreed. I don't know how long I watched that gif. Beautiful.  On the other hand, thanks much for reminding me about Corey Smith's drop. 

Nothing cleanses the soul like a no call pass interference.

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Kevin Harrish's picture

I chose to use the gif for that one because I just can't stop watching it. I figured other people would enjoy looping it a few times too. 

NOLABuckeye's picture

Thanks Kevin. I've been watching a replay of the Sugar Bowl since and watching Zeke when he doesn't have the ball. 

Nothing cleanses the soul like a no call pass interference.

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Kevin Harrish's picture

The sugar bowl is a good one to watch. He's pretty physical on just about every passing play in that game. Not many huge impact blocks, but a lot of small chip blocks before he runs his dump route. He had to have drove those defensive ends crazy. 

ohiowhitesnake's picture

Does this mean Zeke is the leaders of the Slobs?

Feed the trolls

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Meek's picture

That's where he got the salmon.

- OSU ISE -+-  Premium Banter -+- OH48 80k -

See you in Indy!

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Nightfighter82's picture

That's why the Slobs respect him and from what I've heard yes, the Slobs count him as one of their own. 

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Buckeye Knight's picture

Love me some Zeeeeeeeeeeeeeke!

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osu407's picture

Having Zeke block with such enthusiasm should help set up a culture in the running back room that you have to give as much effort without the ball as with it. A culture like that will last through one player and become per infant, just look at the offensive line and the culture they established. 

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Kevin Harrish's picture

In putting this piece together, I did notice that Curtis Samuel appears to have the same sort of mentality. So did Rod Smith before he left. Zeke is just the most effective. Perhaps it already is part of the position group's culture. Let's just hope Alford values it as much as Drayton obviously did.

osu407's picture

Great article by the way

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Kevin Harrish's picture

Thank you. Thanks for reading.

Nightfighter82's picture

I think its also UFM that pushes it. You don't get to start at WR either unless you can block down field as well. I think its emphised by the coaching staff that you play hard every play no matter what your assignment is. That helps guys like Zeke that don't know anything other than working hard because it pushes the rest of the team up to their level. 

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Meek's picture

Impressive. Articles like this, 11W, I'll continue to give you many of my clicks. Great film linkage. Good job Harrish. Who's the #15 of the 11W staff, making some of their best plays while not posting or in the limelight?

- OSU ISE -+-  Premium Banter -+- OH48 80k -

See you in Indy!

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Kevin Harrish's picture

Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading. And it's hard to say one person who fits that description, because most everyone is critical to the team outside of just publishing articles. Everyone contributes, nobody does just the bare minimum. But I guess if I had to choose, I'd say Walt and Matt, and really even Jason, because almost all of their work is behind the scenes. 

Nightfighter82's picture

This was a great article because you got the film to go along with it. It's awesome to be able to add youtube clips in. We all get to be the coach in the film room with articles like this. 

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BUCKfutter's picture

so for him, 4-6 is closer to 14-16

the kids are playing their tail off, and the coaches are screwing it up! - JLS

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TTUN@SS@SIN's picture

Very nice article. Zeke excels at everything he does on the field. Best back in college football. 

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” - Mark Twain

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couldn't go for 3's picture

EZ does it!

don't grow tired of doing good; for in due time you will reap a harvest

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Adam Smith's picture

Any truth to a possible suspension for Zeke? Its being mentioned in other message boards, but no real evidence its true. 

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zeeman60657's picture

Heard the same...puff puff puff, hope its all BS.

Zeeman60657

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SilverHaven's picture

Probably will just go up in smoke.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

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ScarletGray43157's picture

He is Bosa's roommate, or at least was last season.

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

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Nightfighter82's picture

I would have thought that would have been announced with the other 4 players. 

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

Love this kid. It seems like this was his biggest area for improvement not long ago. And, here we are, praising his off the ball skills. He's just a complete player, and now he has two hands. 

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Kevin Harrish's picture

There is still a lot of room for improvement. There are still many cases of missed blocks, badly timed cut blocks, and poor technique but:

1) these cases are far less fequent than your average back

2) they're never due to laziness or a lack of focus. He's always going 100% and is aggressive. He has the mentality that you just can't coach, even if he is raw at times.

But even over the course of this season, he's improved immensely. During the sugar bowl he was executing some of the prettiest chip blocks I've ever seen from a college running back. It had to have driven the defensive line crazy. 

BUCKEYE3M's picture

Thanks, Birm. The one I remember most from last season is when he got beat in the end zone at the beginning of the Natty. But, I also think he played some pretty inspired football from that point forward. 

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Kevin Harrish's picture

Yeah he did get beat there. But even in getting beat he managed to get in the way and give Cardale just enough time to get rid of the football. Even though he got beat, he was still in position. If he's not there, that's a safety or worse. 

Also, I'm not Birm. I'm Kevin haha.

BUCKEYE3M's picture

Oh man, sorry Kevin, I posted on autopilot. To the point of his improvement, it seems that he's grown up so much, so fast, that's it's really uncanny. He was battling Rod Smith for backup duties behind Hyde, and I wasn't even so sure he was going to hold off Samuel last season. But, lo and behold, he did what he did and the results are undeniable.  It seems foolish to have thought that he might not be the clear cut #1 guy. 

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buckeye phi's picture

Great article, Kevin.  Fans tend to overlook the importance of blocking by the skill position players.  I can guarantee you Urban Meyer doesn't, though.  That's a big part of why Zeke's draft stock is expected to be so high, too. 

I can't wait for Zeke and the Slobs (and everybody, really) to pick up right where they left off -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

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NewPhilaFan's picture

I have loved Zeke since that tackle against Purdue his freshman year.  Watching the clip multiple times, I can pick him up about thirty yards from the returner.  His closing speed was unbelievable.  He was like a fear seeking missile as you could see that the returner recognized what was about to happen right before the collision as he hesitated.

Let's Go Bucks

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grangel's picture

What can he do with this gained experience as a veteran starter, the veteran o-line slobs, multiple quarterbacks that bring a threat of the throw or quarterback run and a Zeke with a healthy hand ?

32 more days and counting

R.I.P. AfroDuck and Harambe

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Yeddy's picture

His helmet should be completely covered in buckeye leaves by mid season.

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BeatTTUN's picture

Dudes I love Keith Byars but I think he won't get jelly when I say I love Ezekiel Elliot too.

I saw Ryan Day hang 62 on Michigan...His hair was perfect.

Go Buckeyes Beat Michigan

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ohiobobg's picture

NFL scouts will eat this up. 1st RB out.

"you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning"

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TURD_BUCKET's picture

I hope the PR folks at TOSU make sure the awards voters are aware of Zeke's overall talent and efforts, in addition to the gaudy statistics he puts up. 

Thanks for helping us get to know Zeke a lot better as a player, Mr. Harrish.

GO BUCKS!

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

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DaytonBuck92's picture

Best back in the country.... Nuff said

Born, live and die a Buckeye

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

Thanks for putting together a great article Kevin.  Elliot's his lead blocking is the most under-appreciated aspect of his game.

The stats guys need to come with a "yards contributed to" or "yards responsible for blocking" stat.  Zeke would probably lead that category for RBs, adding to his video game rushing stats and his chances for the Heisman.

Zeke = Mini Slob

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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southalabamabuckeye's picture

Keep it up Zeke.  Train the youngsters behind you so this play becomes normal for Ohio State running backs.

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analyticalguy's picture

El Guapo was also a good blocker.  With Zeke building on that, I think the standard is set. 

Meyer's tight ends have been blockers as well (as pass catchers, unlike Tressel's who were pretty much ONLY blockers), and of course with Spencer (and also Smith and Brown), there is a standard being set for wide receiver too.  We talk about our "weapons" with the ball in their hands,  but one of the things that makes an Urban Meyer offense function so well is having these "weapons" be effective as blockers when they don't have the ball. 

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Nightfighter82's picture

If Spencer hadn't got that block to seal the inside on the 85 yard run, Zeke might not have gotten more than 10 yards. Spencer had 3 key plays in the win against Bama. The Block, The Touchdown throw, and the onside kick recovery. Meyer has said that same about Spencer as is being said here about Zeke. Spencer is a hell of down field blocker for a WR. And you are right, it seems the standard is being set that if you cannot block down field as a WR, you don't start. It seems that standard is now being set for RB's too. If you can't block to help stop the pass rush or play FB to the read option when its a designed QB run, you won't start. it's a good thing to put in place to get more out of the players than just when they have the ball. 

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macdaddybuckeyesupreme's picture

What is this about a suspension for Zeke?!?!? Please for the love of god do not be true.

Successful people do what they have to, whether they feel like it or not

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DoubleOnes's picture

Love this kid, such a great work ethic and knows the importance of family. My son's name is Ezekiel so needless to say we are big fans of 15. I followed his recruiting closely and am very happy he's a Buckeye and having the success that he is. 

Look at the clock. _ichigan still sucks.

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mizdee's picture

Ezekiel Elliott has NEVER flunked a drug test! So just stop it, please! 

... and great read Kevin! 

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LoufromOSU's picture

Folks, I think that ends that rumor pretty definitively.

Good to see you posting on the site, Mrs. E!

"Great moments are born from great opportunities."  - Herb Brooks

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ScarletNGrey01's picture

Zeke is a warrior, and that's a term I don't use lightly, I typically reserve it to describe our brave men and women in uniform serving our country.

Hopefully he is giving some pointers to XBrax on blocking, Braxton may not have to be an Evan Spencer, but it is an essential skill for an elite WR.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

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cbusbuckeye's picture

Earning the respect of the slobs as a blocker will pay huge dividends in that they'll put in that much more effort when they are blocking for him. Zekes attitude and determination are first class. 

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Nightfighter82's picture

He already has it. I've heard the Slobs say he's not just a RB but he's part of the unit. Just read what Decker says about him. 

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JerseyMike's picture

This was one of the most enjoyable reads off the off-season.  11dubs always delivers, go bucks.

Love the camera angle on the hitstick vs Purdue, that was vicious.

How firm thy friendship

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Kevin Harrish's picture

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. 

ScarletAndGrayMatter's picture

It is content like this that has gotten me through this hellishly long off season! September 7th can't get here soon enough! Thanks for satisfying my Buckeye fix for the evening.

Drive, Drive on down the field, Men of the Scarlet and Gray!

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Kevin Harrish's picture

Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it. We certainly try our best to keep giving you quality content even in the offseason, but we're ready for the season too. I promise. 

Nightfighter82's picture

Great article! This is one any coach at the middle school (jr high)/high school level should be showing to their RB's. This is how to set yourself apart from the crowd as a RB. Zeke is a beast with or without the ball. I've noticed his blocking too and glad 11W's noticed it too. 

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