With running back Ezekiel Elliott looking to land in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer commented on the 2015 College Football Playoff Championship Offensive MVP Saturday.
Meyer has coached countless excellent players during his time as the head coach at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and OSU, which is why it is certainly significant whenever he gives someone the designation of being "the best" in a particular area.
He did precisely that with regard to Elliott, but it was a compliment most probably wouldn't have expected, as provided by Will Brinson of CBS Sports:
Will Brinson @WillBrinson
Urban Meyer just said Zeke Elliott is the “best player I’ve ever coached without the ball in his hand. Think about that for a minute.”2016-2-27 15:43:56
Elliott topped 1,800 yards rushing in both 2014 and 2015, and he scored a remarkable 41 touchdowns in those two seasons combined, which speaks to how dynamic he is with the ball in his hands.
The fact that the St. Louis native can do the little things aside from picking up yardage bodes well for his chances of coming off the board early.
Perhaps the one negative during Elliott's tenure with the Buckeyes came following their loss to Michigan State this past season, which saw him criticize the play-calling after rushing for just 33 yards on 12 carries, per ESPN.com's Austin Ward:
What happened today, it was kind of like a bad, bad dream. Offense had a rough day, and I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed in the play calling, I'm disappointed in the situations we were put in, and I wish it all played out differently.
It's very disappointing. The one drive that we had where we kind of had some momentum when we scored after the strip sack, the plays we ran, we ran a lot of gap schemes and we were gashing them. You guys saw that on that drive, and we had a lot of momentum. Honestly, we didn't see those plays at all for the rest of the game. Those plays weren't called anymore. I asked for those plays to be called, and they weren't. It just hurts. It hurts a lot.
While Meyer didn't disagree with the comments when asked about them Saturday, he made it clear that bringing them up in the media wasn't the right way for Elliott to go about expressing his frustration, according to Tim Moody of Scout.com:
Tim Moody @TimLMoody
Urban noted that Elliott’s comments after MSU game shouldn’t have happened. “But he was right.”2016-2-27 15:42:57
Elliott made a mistake that many young players can relate to, and it is one that won't do him any favors in NFL locker rooms if he repeats it at the next level.
The dynamic rusher is extremely confident in his ability, though, and he needs that edge in order to succeed at the NFL level.
Every great player wants the ball and feels as though they can put the team on their back in difficult situations, and Elliott did that more often than not during his time at OSU.
He has all the makings of being a superstar player, and it's clear that Meyer sees that type of potential in him regardless of any disagreements they may have had.
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