Ezekiel Elliott ran for the most yards in NCAA football championship history, earning deserved offensive MVP honors in the Ohio State Buckeyes' 42-20 victory over the Oregon Ducks on Monday.
The 19-year-old Elliott led the charge to deliver OSU its first national title under head coach Urban Meyer, displaying the same grace under pressure as former third-string signal-caller Cardale Jones did.
Elliott wound up with 246 yards on 36 carries and four touchdowns as the clear headliner in capping off the inaugural College Football Playoff.
Melissa Hoppert of The New York Times logged some of what Elliott said afterwards:
NBA superstar LeBron James did a nice job summarizing Elliott's big evening at AT&T Stadium in one tweet:
Former Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde expressed his support:
Mike Hill of Fox Sports 1 felt Elliott had locked up the MVP award when the Buckeyes surged to a 21-10 halftime lead on the strength of his 11 carries for 98 yards and an electric 33-yard touchdown:
ESPN's John Buccigross added context to Elliott's amazing performance, as did ESPN Stats & Info:
Elliott's hard running demoralized Oregon's front seven, as no one on the first or second level of the Ducks defense seemed to want any part of tackling Ohio State's punishing super sophomore.
Danny Kanell of ESPN gave credit to the Buckeyes' big young men in the trenches who paved the way for Elliott:
Four giveaways made this game closer than it should have been, and Elliott is a huge reason why the Buckeyes were able to overcome their numerous errors to still win comfortably.
The NFL on ESPN looked ahead to Elliott's bright future:
If Elliott weren't so young, he could easily be one of the first backs off the board in the upcoming NFL draft. Presuming he stays healthy as a junior, he could easily go pro in 2016 if he keeps playing at the level he's flashed in recent games.
Both Jones and the man who was previously ahead of him on the QB depth chart, J.T. Barrett, are slated to return next season, along with a ton of prominent contributors.
No matter who is under center, OSU can maintain a physical, explosive identity with Elliott leading a prolific 2015 rushing attack and position itself for a potential repeat.