After spending the first seven years of his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott joined the Patriots prior to the 2023-24 NFL season.
Elliott has amassed 8,262 rushing yards in his career, which ranks sixth in the NFL since 2005.
That factoid was an extra, now here are eight interesting facts to know about Ezekiel Elliott.
1. ‘Strength of God’
Elliott’s name was given to him by his parents because of its meaning, “strength of God.”
Both of Zeke’s parents wanted to stamp a message of “strength and perseverance” in their son from day one.
Elliott is a tough, strong, lightning-fast running back, so the name seems to fit him well. If you’re planning to attend a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium this year, be sure to keep your eye on Zeke.
2. Where is Ezekiel Elliott from?
Elliott was born in Alton, Illinois, which sits right on the Mississippi River in western Illinois.
He attended high school at the prestigious John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri. The private school is more well-known for academics than athletics, but Zeke was a standout.
As a junior in 2012, he was named the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offensive player of the year. On the season, Elliott ran for 1,802 yards and 34 touchdowns. He also caught 23 passes for 401 yards and six touchdowns.
3. Family of athletes
Both of Elliot’s parents, Dawn Huff and Stacy Elliott, were collegiate athletes at Missouri. Huff ran track following a high school career that saw her win three state championships in track, softball and gymnastics.
Elliott’s father also player football, although he played on the defensive side of the ball as a linebacker for the Missouri Tigers football team.
The athletic skill goes back even further in Zeke’s family. His mom’s father played basketball for Drake University.
4. Could have been drafted by Major League Baseball
Believe it or not, football wasn’t the only sport where Elliott dominated as a high schooler. In his senior season in high school, Elliott hit .644 with 22 stolen bases in 33 games for the school’s baseball team.
A speedy outfielder who also pitched at times, Elliott was scouted by several MLB teams. However, his success on the football field and preference for that sport kept MLB teams from drafting him in the 2013 MLB Draft.
Elliott was also a standout in track and field. He set a number of state records, most notably setting a Missouri record with a time of 10.95 seconds in the 100-meter dash.
5. Buckeye legend
Elliott’s performance at Ohio State University made him one of the greatest football players in school history. When he finished his three-year career as a Buckeye, Elliott trailed only the great Archie Griffin in yards gained on the ground. In addition, only Eddie George scored more touchdowns. That is fine company.
In the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, Elliott was named MVP after he ran for 246 yards and scored four touchdowns for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State won the national title by a score of 42-20 over Oregon. It was the first title awarded under the College Football Playoff (CFP) system.
6. Golf magnate
Elliott is a major shareholder in OnCore Golf Technology, Inc., a leading manufacturer of golf balls.
Elliott is reportedly a 4-handicap in golf, and plays frequently in Texas, where he makes his home.
7. Matched Touchdown Tony
In his rookie season in the NFL in 2016, Elliott became the second Dallas running back to top 1,000 yards in his first season, joining Tony Dorsett, aka “Touchdown Tony.”
During the season, Zeke ran for 1,631 yards to lead the NFL, which eclipsed the rookie franchise record of Dorsett.
8. What’s in a number?
Elliott wore No. 21 in his time with the Dallas Cowboys. That’s the same uniform number that Deion Sanders wore as a Cowboy.
Other famous NFL players to wear No. 21 include Jim Thorpe, Charles Woodson, LaDainian Tomlinson and Cliff Branch.
Elliott wears No. 15 for the Patriots, which is the number he wore during his college career at Ohio State.