A Back of All Trades

Having the ability to perform in a pro-style or spread offense for John Burroughs (MO) HS, running back Ezekiel Elliott is one of the top athletes in the state of Missouri for 2013, and the University of Wisconsin has taken notice.

MADISON - More often than not during the recruiting process, one of the main reasons a player is recruited is based on how his position would fit into that school's system. Whether it be pro-style, spread, pistol or triple option, one player rarely fits all of the above, which makes junior tailback Ezekiel Elliott's scholarship list all that more impressive.

"There are a lot of different types of schools that have offered me," Elliott told Badger Nation. "Some schools that like to run the ball a lot in a pro-style offense, spread teams and great academic schools. I am pretty much impressed by the diversity of schools that have offered me."

That assortment for Elliott comes from his high school offense, which he described as having a little bit of everything. Running a little spread and a little pro-style offense for John Burroughs HS in St. Louis, the 6-0, 200-pound tailback rushed for over 1,800 rushing yards, had 400 receiving yards and scored 42 total touchdowns as a junior.

It made Elliott the top prospect in the state of Missouri for 2013 and has brought him BCS offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wisconsin.

"We do a little bit of everything, so we run things a lot of schools like to run," said Elliott. "We make the best of it."

Elliott admits a lot of offers have caught his eye, but one of the bigger ones, in his mind, is the offer from Wisconsin. With fellow Missouri running back Montee Ball being named a Heisman Finalists last season after tying the NCAA record for most touchdowns in a single season, Elliott knows that a kid from St. Louis can succeed in that offense.

"When teams offer me that like to run the ball all the time, like Wisconsin, that makes me feel good," said Elliott.

Being recruited by Wisconsin running back coach Thomas Hammock, Elliott says the two have talked over Facebook and over the phone and are trying to setting up a spring visit.

"Coach Hammock really likes my versatility as a back," said Elliott. "He likes the way I run the football either between the tackles, outside the tackles and how I can come out of the backfield and catch the ball."

Elliott also said he liked the offer from Ohio State because it's a ‘school I grew up watching, they have good football teams every year and Coach Urban Meyer is a legend with two national championships' and Notre Dame because ‘the academics speak for them self.'

And while Elliott has been to Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Ohio State, he isn't ready to proclaim any school as the early leader.

"I don't have any favorites yet," Elliott said. "I still want to take a look at Iowa, Northwestern and Wisconsin over my spring break. I want to see how a program work together and see if I can find the right place for me to succeed after football."

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