Two months after Ohio State staked their claim to the first-ever College Football Playoff national championship, Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott is still pulling in the awards.
Big Ten Champion. Sugar Bowl Offensive MVP. Sugar Bowl Champion. College Football Playoff National Championship Offensive MVP. College Football Playoff National Champion.
The list goes on.
And it continued on Sunday, as Elliott left New York City as the 85th AAU James E. Sullivan Award winner. He beat out finalists Simone Biles (gymnastics), Meryl Davis and Charlie White (figure skating), Jahlil Okafor (basketball) and Shawn Barber (pole vault).
“I kind of feel a little bit undeserving of this awards, with all these great athletes up here and all their tremendous accomplishments,” Elliot said about the other finalists. “I can’t even imagine what it feels like to win an Olympic gold medal. So congratulations to you guys for being here.”
Elliott leaped into the national spotlight in December by rushing for a combined 450 yards and four touchdowns in the Big Ten championship win over Wisconsin and Sugar Bowl national semifinal victory over Alabama nearly a month later. His encore performance – an Ohio State bowl-record 246 yards and four touchdowns – made the Buckeyes unlikely champions of the College Football Playoff.
He is the fourth AAU Sullivan Award winner with connections to Ohio State, following Olympic gold medal-winning track stars Mal Whitfield (1954) and Glen Davis (1958), and Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Paul Hamm (2004).
Watch Elliott’s full acceptance speech below:
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