It looks like the official decision process for 4-star running back and current Ohio State commitment Ezekiel Elliott is going to come down to the wire.
Elliott has been committed to Ohio State since April, and he's a big-time recruit for the Buckeyes. He's 6'0'', 212 pounds, so he has great size and can be a strong runner in between the tackles. Elliott also runs a 4.40-second 40-yard dash according to 247Sports, so he has elite speed to go along with his size.
For all intents and purposes, Elliott has star potential, so he's an important recruit for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes to hold on to.
The only problem is, the Missouri Tigers may make the task of holding on to Elliott's commitment very difficult for the Buckeyes.
Elliott just took an official visit to Missouri this past weekend. According to Brad Bournival of ESPN.com, both of his parents were star athletes for the Tigers, and the interesting thing is, he hasn't talked about recruiting or Ohio State since that visit, per Bournival:
On Tuesday night, Elliott tweeted “I will not be doing any interviews until Feb 6th on signing day.”
He further tweeted, “My signing ceremony is at my school at 3 p.m. [4 p.m. ET]. Everyone come out.”
Since his visit to Missouri, Elliott has not discussed his commitment to the Buckeyes.
Is there reason to worry about for Ohio State?
On the surface, the fact that a recruit goes silent about his commitment standing right after an official visit should be somewhat of a cause for concern. That concern level should go up when considering the close family ties that Elliott has with Missouri.
That said, other than the family bond, there's few reasons for Elliott to leave Ohio State's 2013 class.
The pitch from Meyer should be simple. He came in and turned the program all the way around in just one season. In just one short year, the Buckeyes have gone from rebuilding to a contender in the Big Ten.
In fact, many believe Ohio State will be a national-championship contender next season and beyond. With the way Meyer recruits, that's a very real possibility.
As far as Elliott is concerned, the Buckeyes have a lot to offer at the running back position. He's talented enough to be a star for the program eventually, and that would make him one of the more well-known players in college football—if only because of Ohio State's national relevance.
In regards to his freshman year, Elliott will be behind Carlos Hyde and Jordan Hall (receiving a medical redshirt year) on the depth chart. His speed and size will make him a very great third option for the Buckeyes as a freshman though, and he could even compete for No. 2 reps.
Elliott will be in line for the starting gig once Hyde and Hall move on, and that means he could be the starter for a very good Ohio State program.
Frankly, other than the family draw, I don't see a reason why Elliott would end up flipping away from Ohio State.
Based off this recent development, though, it could be a possibility.
If I was Meyer, I'd hop on the phone quickly to remind the 4-star back about all the great things that could be in store for him with the Buckeyes.
It's a very easy pitch.