We're counting down the days to kickoff with “99 Warriors,” the greatest Ohio State Buckeyes by jersey number, as voted by the staff of Eleven Warriors.
No. 15 Ezekiel Elliott
While Ezekiel Elliott was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2015, when he rushed for a whopping 1,821 yards and 23 touchdowns, it was what he did one season earlier – specifically in Ohio State's final three games of the 2014 season – that cemented his place in Buckeye immortality.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
b. July 22, 1995 (Alton, Ill.)
- National Champion (2014)
- James E. Sullivan Award (2015)
- Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year (2015)
- Team MVP (2015)
With 220 yards and two touchdowns in the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin, 230 yards and two touchdowns in the College Football Playoff semifinal against Alabama and 246 yards and four touchdowns in the CFP final against Oregon, Elliott led Ohio State to a national championship.
Over the course of his three-year career at Ohio State, the running back nicknamed "Zeke" rushed for 3,961 yards – the second-most in school history, behind only Archie Griffin – including 3,699 yards, the highest two-year total in school history, in his final two seasons alone. He scored 44 touchdowns in his Buckeye career, the fourth-most in school history.
Elliott won the AAU's Sullivan Award as America's top amateur athlete in 2015, following his national championship-winning performance, and earned Team MVP honors in addition to Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Award honors following the 2015 season.
The No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, Elliott is now entering his third NFL season with the Dallas Cowboys. In his rookie season in 2016, Elliott led the NFL with 1,631 rushing yards.