COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State’s elite junior running back who has some of the nation’s best all-around numbers with 1,425 rushing yards, 16 touchdowns, 24 receptions and who may be the best blocking back in the nation, has been named a semifinalist for the 26th Doak Walker Award.
Elliott, from St. Louis, Mo., and Burroughs High School, is one of 11 semifinalists for the award that honors that nation’s outstanding running back. Members of the Doak Walker Award national selection committee will cast their votes to determine three finalists, which will be announced Nov. 24.
Elliott has a nation’s-best 15 consecutive 100-yard games, a streak that has increased his career rushing total to 3,565 yards and to within 204 yards of passing 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George and into second place on Ohio State’s all-time list. Elliott, who is among a handful of players being mentioned often as a Heisman Trophy candidate, would be nestled neatly in between three Heisman trophies at that point, as two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin is Ohio State’s all-time leading rusher with 5,589 yards.
Among the national rankings, Elliott is currently third in rushing yards and sixth in rushing yards per game (142.5). His dominant performances this year include 274 yards vs. Indiana, 181 vs. Illinois, 153 vs. Penn State and 142 vs. Rutgers and 122 vs. Virginia Tech.
Elliott has five runs over 50 yards this season — second-most nationally — including 55-, 65- and 75-yard touchdown runs in the second half vs. Indiana.
Elliott has already been named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Trophy, awarded to the collegiate player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia.