Ohio State star sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott has been named a finalist for the 85th James E. Sullivan Award, the Amateur Athletic Union announced Friday.
Elliott was named a semifinalist for the prestigious honor March 9, which is given to the nation's most outstanding amateur athlete for the previous year.
"It is truly an honor and a blessing to be a finalist for the Sullivan Award and to be considered among the finest amateur athletes in the country," Elliott said, according to an AAU press release. "I thank my coaches and teammates for all they have done to help me become the best I can be, and I want to congratulate all the individuals who were considered for this most prestigious award this year."
The Ohio State running back was a key element to his team's improbable run at the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship in 2014, when he tallied 1,874 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also torched Wisconsin, Alabama and finally Oregon for a total of 696 yards and eight scores in Ohio State's three postseason games.
Elliott is one of seven finalists recognized by the AAU. The others include:
-Duke basketball player Jahlil Okafor;
-Pole vaulter Shawn Barber;
-Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White;
-Gymnast Simone Biles; and
-Stanford swimmer Katie Ledecky.
Fans can vote for the finalists here once a day until March 25, according to the release.
"The AAU herby opens our finalist voting," AAU president and CEO Dr. Roger Gaudy said. "This year’s class is an accomplished group of athletes and they truly represent the best in amateur athletics. We are excited to welcome one of them into our exclusive Club.”