Originally written on Buckeye Empire  |  Last updated 10/15/14
Ezekiel Elliott had his black stripe removed on August 12th, 2013   As we roll through fall camp, we take a look at the incoming freshmen to see how, if at all, they can make an impact immediately as Ohio State makes a run at a National Title. With the tailback position very much in flux, there is a very good chance that St. Louis product Ezekiel Elliott could see some significant playing time in the first three games. He’s been practicing returning kicks and punts, but where his real strength lies is between the tackles. Elliott, of course, has an uphill battle to remain on the field after Carlos Hyde returns from his suspension, whenever that may be. But he also has the chance to show that he came to Ohio State for a reason, and that was to contribute as much as he can to the overall team effort. We here at Buckeye Empire have had a chance to get to know the Elliott family from the very beginning and have always been supportive of Ezekiel, even when it seemed as though he was wavering on his commitment to the Buckeyes. Somehow we knew that he’d always end up in Scarlet and Gray. Ezekiel’s impact may not be felt immediately in taking handoffs from Braxton Miller, but you can rest assured that after this season, the job of starting tailback is going to be a wide open competition and Elliott will be right in the middle of it with Warren Ball, Dontre Wilson, and Bri’onte Dunn. In the meantime, where you will likely see #15 shine is on kick and punt returns, just as Ted Ginn, Jr. started. He’ll be back there with Wilson as the second option should opposing teams want to stay away from the speedster Wilson much like NFL teams have stopped kicking to Devin Hester. So Eliiot’s impact will be felt, but it won’t be behind Braxton, at least not this year. Should Miller stay the full four years, it is possible that the crowds at The Shoe will be bellowing out “E-Z-E” just as loudly as we all yelled “BOOOOOOM.”
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