And the sophomore likely felt that way, too, and probably still does, but he knows that the injury he suffered Friday that required wrist surgery won’t quite help his cause.
“I think I had a pretty good camp,” he said Sunday at OSU’s media day. “I think I had a pretty good spring and leading up into camp, so I had a little bit of momentum. With this injury, it’s going to set me back a little bit, but I’m going to keep pushing.”
The injury, which happened in practice, broke a bone in his left wrist that Elliott said wouldn’t heal without a pin being put in. The St. Louis native wore a cast on his left hand while at media day but said he expects to be back – cast and all – at practice by the end of the week.
“I’ll play with it,” he said. “It’ll be in a cast.”
The injury will also mean he’ll have to keep the ball in his right hand while carrying it going forward.
“It really doesn’t matter,” he said when asked if he was happy the injury was to his left wrist, not his right. “I’m just going to have to keep the ball in my right hand until I get the cast off.”
As for the pain that might come along with the injury, Elliott didn’t seem too concerned.
“I’m sure there’s going to be some pain, but there’s always going to be pain,” he said. “No football player is 100 percent throughout the whole season.”
Elliott, a four-star prospect in the class of 2013, rose to become Ohio State’s No. 2 back a season ago, rushing 30 times in nine games in which he saw action at running back and compiling 262 yards and two touchdowns. Elliott added three receptions for 23 yards and a score – all against Purdue – and he had a standout 162-yard effort vs. Florida A&M.
“Last year was really good,” he said. “I got to go out there and see what it’s like to be out on the field. I learned a lot about the offense, so going into this year I think I know the playbook like the back of my hand.”
Elliott was already facing a challenge from OSU’s deep backfield, a roster that includes senior Rod Smith, sophomores Warren Ball and Brionte Dunn and true freshman Curtis Samuel. Smith – who ran for two TDs in practice Friday – and Samuel – who Meyer raved about at media day Sunday – have been building momentum, something that could put them each in the running for carries going into the season.
Elliott is still approaching things like he’ll be the No. 1 guy, though, especially after he added weight to get to 225 pounds after starting last year around 217 or 218.
“I’m a lot stronger and I feel like I’m still the same speed,” he said. “I increased my power by a lot.”