Earlier this week we were fortunate enough to get an inside look at the recruiting process from Dawn and Stacy Elliott, parents of 4-Star running back and Ohio State commit Ezekiel Elliott (Saint Louis, MO). They each had an interesting take on head coach Urban Meyer, both clearly looking at the man from the perspective of a parent about to send their oldest off to college 420 miles from home.
When asked about the Buckeyes’ new leader, Ezekiel’s father Stacy, not surprisingly, didn’t mention a single thing about the football side of the man even though he was a football player himself as a defensive end at the University of Missouri in the late 1980′s and early 90′s.
“The first time I met Coach Meyer we were sitting in his office and the man was so humble I could not believe I was actually sitting in the same office with THE Urban Meyer. I was very impressed; Coach Meyer is a humble, personable, respectful and confident man. I love what he stands for.”
Ezekiel’s mom Dawn wasn’t too far off the same path, getting right to the point with how she felt about the man, not the coach. “He is an extremely humble, charitable and caring man who absolutely adores his wife and children.”
So what does Ezekiel himself think when asked about his future head coach Urban Meyer? We were lucky enough to ask him that very question in this week’s Q&A session with the 6’0″, 200-pound running back out of Saint Louis. Ezekiel Elliot, Empired…
Empire: At what point did you start to think Division-1 football might be an option for you?
ZKL: I started playing football when I was 7. My dad played division 1 football at Missouri and I wanted to be just like him. Ever since I was younger my dream has been to be able to play Division-1 football and maybe go pro.
Empire: What are your goals for your senior season with the Bombers?
ZKL: There is one EXPECTATION for my senior season: Lead my boys back to the dome and WIN STATE. I will not accept anything less.
Empire: What was the most difficult aspect of the entire recruiting process?
ZKL: The most difficult part of the process is keeping contact with every coach. It’s a bit overwhelming.
Empire: What part of being recruited did you enjoy the most?
ZKL: Just going out every weekend and being able to see a different place and meeting new people.
Empire: During your visit to Columbus, which current players or fellow recruits were you able to bond with while you were there?
ZKL: I hung out with Braxton Miller and Ryan Shazier. I also hung out with David Perkins, Noah Spence and Cameron Williams.
Empire: What was the final determining factor in your decision to choose Ohio State – as in – what thought went through your mind right before you finally thought, “yep, Ohio State is where I belong.”
ZKL: It just felt right. Felt at home. The atmosphere of Ohio State and the love of football in the state. The fans are crazy and everyone in Ohio loves Buckeye football.
Empire: When you called Coach Meyer to inform him of your decision, what exactly did you tell him?
ZKL: I just told him I was going to be a Buckeye. He was pretty excited.
Empire: I’m certain you want to be the, “Next Ezekiel Elliott,” but if you had to name one player you pattern your game after who would it be?
ZKL: Marshall Faulk. A tough runner but also a back that was great at catching the ball out of the backfield.
Empire: What are you most looking forward to about joining the Ohio State family?
ZKL: Just the closeness and the tight-knit family of Ohio State. I have gotten very close with a lot of the commits from my class and I cannot wait till I am able to suit up on the field and go to battle with those guys.
Empire: Now that you’re 3/4 the way through your high school career and a year away from joining the Buckeyes, what do you have to say about your parents and how they’ve helped you throughout your life in sports?
ZKL: They have been a great support system and I am thankful for everything they have done for me. Driving me to all the visits to the different campuses, taking me to all the late night practices and workouts and being there for every game. I would not be the athlete I am without them.
Empire: Given one opportunity to speak directly to the enormous amount of crazies within Buckeye Nation, what would tell them?
ZKL: Thanks for all the support, Buckeye Nation. I can’t wait to tear it up in The Shoe on Saturdays.
Empire: Last one….I’ll give you just one word to describe head coach Urban Meyer…
Editor’s Note: I want to thank Ezekiel for taking time out of all that’s going on to connect with us and answer a few questions about all he has gone through getting to the point he’s at today as a future Buckeye. I also want to personally thank Dawn and Stacy Elliott for assisting us in working with Ezekiel. Without them we’re unable to bring you Ezekiel Elliott, Empired.