New York, NY, April 19, 2015 – Today, in an exclusive Award Ceremony hosted at the historic New York Athletic Club, Ezekiel Elliott added the prestigious AAU Sullivan Award to his 2015 NCAA FBS National Championship! For 85 years, the AAU Sullivan Award has been presented annually to the Most Outstanding US Amateur Athlete, who also demonstrates premier leadership, character and sportsmanship.
"First of all I want to thank the AAU Sullivan Award for representing outstanding amateur athletes for the past 85 years. Of course, I have to thank my parents for pushing me to be the person that I am, demanding excellence out of me. I want to thank Ohio State University, my coaches and my teammates for making this opportunity possible for me," said Ezekiel Elliot.
“This is a tremendous honor for Ezekiel and his family, and a privilege for Ohio State to have a Sullivan Award winner as the outstanding amateur athlete in America,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. “I want to congratulate Ezekiel, and his teammates, and the coaches on the Ohio State staff who all work extremely hard to get the best out of our student-athletes on and off the field.”
A St. Louis native and 2014 Academic All Big Ten Player, Elliott sprung into national prominence during The College Football Playoffs where he was named Offensive MVP in the National Semi-Final and the National Championship Game. Last season, he rushed for 1,878 yards on 273 attempts for a 6.9 yard / rush average and had 220 receiving yards on 28 receptions for a 7.9 yard / reception average. Teammates credit him with always putting team first and appreciate how he never hesitates to credit his personal accomplishments to his teammates.
Beyond his on the field achievements, Elliott is a two-time OSU Scholar Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten Conference, holds a 3.0 GPA and is a recently declared Marketing Major. Additionally, he regularly visits local hospitals, elementary schools and food pantries. Elliott is the true definition of a well-rounded Student Athlete and will continue with his junior year at The Ohio State University next fall.
“Ezekiel truly epitomizes what the AAU Sullivan Award is all about – leadership and excellence both on and off the field. I could not be prouder of him and of all the athletes who represented the AAU Sullivan Award this year,” said AAU President, Dr. Roger Goudy.
Elliott is the 8th Football player to win the Award and is in the company of: Doc Blanchard, Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow. Beyond football players, he joins an illustrious list of previous winners, from all sports, who accomplished amazing things on and off the field, including: Bobby Jones (1930), Wilma Rudolph (1961), Bill Bradley (1965), Mark Spitz (1970), Bill Walton (1973), Carl Lewis (1981), Greg Louganis, (1984), Janet Evans (1989), Michael Phelps (2003), Shawn Johnson (2008) and many others.
For more info on the AAU, award and ceremony, including voting, past winners, event details and nominee bios, visit www.aausullivan.org.
Founded in 1888, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the United States. The “Sports for All, Forever” philosophy is shared by over 600,000 participants and over 50,000 volunteers. The AAU annually licenses more than 34 sports programs, 250 national championships, and over 30,000 age division events. AAU alumni include LeBron James, Amar’e Stoudemire, Diana Taurasi, Madison Bumgarner and Justin Verlander. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the development of amateur sports www.aausports.org.
Ryan David Saniuk
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