Ezekiel Elliott Comments on Versatility, Maturity and More

Mike NorrisFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2016

Ohio St. running back Ezekiel Elliott responds to a question during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Former Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott is saying all the right things when it comes to his future in the NFL. After a stellar career that saw him rush for more than 1,800 yards in both his sophomore and junior seasons, he's confident in his skills but also knows he needs to be a well-rounded team player, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.

"I think the thing that sets me apart is just my versatility," Elliott said. "I'm a guy that can play three downs. You don't have to take me off the field. I value blocking more than anything. I obviously love to run the ball, and I think I have great hands out of the backfield."

Ezekiel Elliott College Stats
YearRushing AttemptsYardsTDReceptionsYardsTD
20133026223231
2014273187818282200
2015289182123272060
Total592396143584491
Sports-Reference.com

While he had just one receiving touchdown in his college career, Elliott did catch 55 passes over the past two seasons. However, he also caught some flak for comments he made after rushing for just 33 yards on 12 carries in a loss to the Michigan State Spartans last year in which he questioned the play-calling. He already knows what he is going to say when questioned about his comments, though, per Fowler.

"I'll tell them I've grown up a lot since then," Elliott said. "That was a great learning moment for me. I was emotional. What teams want is a competitor, and that's what I am. That's where that came from."

Elliott is the only running back that CBS Sports projects to go in the first round of the draft, and NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler had this to say about him (via CBS Sports):

Elliott is extremely well-rounded as a runner with ideal size for the position along with coordinated footwork that is always in sync with his eyes. He runs with natural pad level and fantastic forward lean, using his balance, leg drive and relentless fight to move the chains and pick up every inch he can. Plays with a strong intensity for the game.

With the talent and skills to excel and an improved attitude, it seems as though the future is bright for Elliott, especially if he lands with the right team.