Ezekiel Elliott is a high-upside running back built to succeed in any offense. His versatility attracted a lot of interest during the recruiting process, and he has all the tools to become a star once he gains experience at the collegiate level.
He's rated as a 4-star prospect by 247Sports composite ranking, which sets him as the top 2013 recruit in the state of Missouri and No. 67 overall in the class. The recruiting site lists a total of 25 programs as having checked in on his status.
It's easy to see why he has generated so much attention. His ability to make defenders miss is what immediately stands out, but he's capable of helping an offense succeed in countless ways, and that's what earned him the 4-star rating.
As a rusher, he can run between the tackles or get to the corner and break off a big play. He can also make plays out of the backfield as a receiver and has the strength to excel as a blocker, although he's still raw in that area (as most freshman RBs are).
In college, teams usually rely on multiple running backs to handle all of those different tasks. Elliott can do it all, and that should help him stand out.
Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see how he gets used early in his collegiate career. He could contribute on a large scale right away, but he might be better off over the long haul if he's worked in slowly and his workload is increased down the line.
Either way, his star potential should shine through before long. Players with his type of wide-ranging skills aren't easy to come by. He makes a coach's job easier because they can plug him into any situation and be confident he can handle it.
Even though he may never reach a Heisman Trophy level, he's going to become a very important player and will lead his team to a lot of victories in the coming years.
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Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting star ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite system.