Ohio State Football Recruiting: Can the Buckeyes Keep Ezekiel Elliott?

Tim BielikSenior Analyst IJanuary 30, 2013

Photo courtesy of 247Sports
Photo courtesy of 247Sports

Just when it seemed like national signing day was going to be a chance for the Buckeyes to add one or two more pieces, next Wednesday may have OSU fans worried, as commit Ezekiel Elliott may be wavering.

Elliott, who had been a verbal to the Buckeyes since April 1, 2012 (per Scout.com), took a visit to Missouri last weekend (per ElevenWarriors.com) that now has fans concerned that he may no longer come to OSU.

Even more concerning is that Elliott is not talking anymore and won't do so until he signs his national letter of intent (per Elliott's Twitter account).

According to a tweet by The Ozone.net's Brandon Castel, part of the concern on Elliott's end is that OSU is after Oregon commit Dontre Wilson, who is also a running back.

The likelier reason for Elliott's visit to Mizzou is that both of his parents went to school there and maybe he was just giving a courtesy visit.

The reason for so much concern is the fact is that anything can happen at this stage of the game in recruiting—more so than in previous years because of how many early verbals and subsequent decommits there have been.

Either Elliott knows where he's still going and is playing the recruiting game, which dozens of youngsters play this time of year, or he is truly torn. We probably won't know until next Wednesday.

Even more confusing—if he was truly considering Mizzou—than the in-home visit he had with OSU RB coach Stan Drayton and offensive coordinator Tom Herman were the Twitter shoutouts he gave to several other OSU verbals.

He gave none to any Mizzou verbals, so feel free to take that for what it's worth.

In a way, however, it seems OSU may be okay. If he was truly about to commit to Missouri, odds are he would have probably done that by now.

That all can change depending on what happens with Wilson and WR James Clark, who are each considering the Buckeyes (per 247sports).

The fact remains that Elliott is just too good of a player to not succeed wherever he goes, whether he remains a Buckeye or goes where both of his parents went and plays for the Tigers.

In the end, we probably have no idea where he will go. Maybe that's because he doesn't know either, which is probably true of others who will make their commits official on national signing day.

Odds are that Elliott will stick with the Buckeyes and just make it official on NSD. It would be a little stunning if he went to Missouri, especially if OSU strikes out on Wilson as well.

But barring any unforeseen changes in the next week, look for Elliott to sign with the Buckeyes.

Follow me on Twitter @bielik_tim for the latest college football news and updates.