In the aftermath of a late season 17-14 loss to Michigan State, Ohio State star and current NFL running back prospect Ezekiel Elliott was critical of his teams coaching staff and how he was used. Elliott joined The Jim Rome Show on Tuesday and was asked if NFL teams have spoken with him about that postgame locker room tirade.
“I’ve been asked that in every meeting with NFL teams,” Elliott said. “My response was it was an emotional week for me.” The projected first round pick in Thursday’s draft said he explained to every team there were a multitude of factors that led to him speaking his minds in front of reporters.
“I knew that was going to be my last game at Ohio State. I wasn’t a senior, but it was like a senior day for me, and I knew that was going to be my last time playing in front of those beautiful Ohio State fans, the best fans in the nation,” Elliott said. “A lot of people didn’t know I was hospitalized, so I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to play and that just made me even more emotional, knowing that this is the biggest game of the season, this is probably going to determine if we are going to get a chance to play in that Big Ten Championship and get a chance to go back to the Final Four and just not knowing if I was going to play, and finally I was cleared.
“I was cleared in the middle of the week and allowed to practice and having the game go the way it did it just kind of snuck a bad dream, and I got a mic stuck in front of my face and I said some things I shouldn’t have said.”
Although, the 2015 National Championship Offensive MVP told NFL teams it was the wrong forum to vent his frustrations, but he wouldn’t take back anything.
“I said I didn’t regret anything. I said but I did regret the situation I put my teammates in, the situation I put my coaching staff in, the negative situation I put the university in,” Elliott said. “I learned there was a time and place for things and that wasn’t the time or the place.”
When it comes to whether or not Elliott has any indication of where he may end up getting drafted, the 20-year-old remains unsure.
“Right now, everyone is kind of hiding their hand as we get closer to the draft, so I honestly have no idea where I’m going to end up,” Elliott said. “I’m just sitting here anxious and ready to know.”
Wherever Elliott goes, he knows his favorite saying, “Ain’t no elevators, you got to take the stairs,” will apply.
“Anything worth getting you have to work for. There’s no short corners. All you do is cheat yourself when you try to take the short corner,” Elliott said. “I worked for this. When I got to Ohio State, I mean, Coach Meyer told you, I was an average player, and how I became great, and how I became the player I am today is just by going to work every day with a hardhat mentality, with the mentality that I’m going to outwork everyone in the nation. I’m going to outwork everyone, and that’s how I became the player I am today.”