clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ezekiel Elliott receives guidance from Marshall Faulk to help navigate his NFL career

The Hall of Famer is a great friend to Zeke.

Divisional Round - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

“As a 21-year-old star with the Indianapolis Colts, Marshall Faulk would've loved to have had the kind of relationship with someone that he has with Ezekiel Elliott.”

- Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPN

Ezekiel Elliott had one of the best rookie seasons by a running back in NFL history this past season. He hasn’t done it entirely alone, as he’s had some guidance from Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk. Faulk has been friends with Elliott since Elliott was in high school in St. Louis. That continued while Elliott was at Ohio State, and of course, into his pro career with the Cowboys. But Faulk doesn’t like looking at himself as a mentor. "I hate to use the word mentor," Faulk said. "We have a friendship. There are things he trusts me with and that he'll ask about -- and even if he doesn't ask, I'll drop it by him.”

Faulk does it in part because he wishes somebody had done it for him. "For me, it's more or less, it's what I wish I had when I entered the league as a rookie." Elliott’s dad Stacy is extremely appreciative of what Faulk has provided for his son. "To even have Marshall, a student of the game, be a mentor to Ezekiel and have him mirroring Marshall is really a beautiful thing." We all want to see Elliott succeed in the NFL. He was great to watch at Ohio State, and is a fun personality. You may not root for the Cowboys on Sundays, but it never hurts to see Zeke out there eating.

“It's been nearly a decade since Ohio State has signed a pair of offensive linemen like Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers.”

- Bill Landis, Northeast Ohio Media Group

Davis and Myers are the best offensive lineman Urban Meyer has signed since he’s been at Ohio State. Considering some of the great linemen that have come through Columbus, that’s a pretty amazing feat. There’s also a chance that they can compete for starting spots immediately. "They're both from excellent programs," Meyer said on National Signing Day, via Landis. "They're both very disciplined, mature people. Man, they're blessed. They're big. They're not -- usually guys that big are fat-big, but these guys aren't fat-big, they're big-big."

Meyer praised both players individually as well. "Josh Myers is absolutely killing it in the weight room right now. He's going to be in the mix," Meyer said. He was high on Davis’ promise as well. "Wyatt Davis, I went out watching him practice," Meyer said. "Wonderful high school program, one of the best programs in America. I don't want to say he's ready-made because that's not fair for him, but that's how much respect we have for the Bosco football program." Offensive line play gets past the average fan, but the additions of Myers and Davis could be huge for Ohio State moving forward if they live up to expectations. It’ll pay off even more when J.T. Barrett’s successor takes over after next season.

Former Ohio State running back Warren Ball graduate transferred to Akron in February of 2016. Ball rushed for 189 yards on 41 carries in his three seasons in Columbus. With players like Carlos Hyde and Ezekiel Elliott in front of him along with injuries, it was tough for Ball to get into the mix. For Akron, he started the first two games of the 2016 season. He totaled 181 yards and a touchdown on just 25 attempts.

Wednesday, he was granted a 6th year of eligibility by the NCAA, because of a season-ending injury last fall. Zips head coach Terry Bowden was happy about the news. "We are extremely happy that Warren will continue as a member of our team," Bowden said. "His leadership on and off the field has been a tremendous asset so far, and we look for his continued contributions to our success." Hopefully Ball is able to capitalize off of the extra year, and stay healthy.

STICK TO SPORTS