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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Ohio State keeps its ESPN 150 RB

By Brad Bournival

Ezekiel Elliott (St. Louis/John Burroughs) teased Ohio State fans by taking an official visit to Missouri late in the recruiting game.

On Wednesday afternoon, after a 10-month courtship, the ESPN 150 running back went where his heart was and announced he'd sign with the Buckeyes. He sent his national letter of intent after a news conference.

"I'm a part of a new brotherhood that will forever be special to me," Elliott said. "I'm ready to do big things."

One of the biggest recruits for Ohio State -- and the only true running back in the Buckeyes' 2013 class -- Elliott ultimately didn't flip to Missouri, where both his parents were athletes.

As a senior, the 6-foot, 205-pound Elliott amassed 2,533 total yards of offense and scored 50 touchdowns. He scored 42 times as a junior and finished his career with 100 touchdowns.

Elliott is ranked No. 109 overall and is the 11th-best running back in the nation, according to the ESPN rankings.

What is the impact of Elliott's decision nationally?

What it means for Ohio State: The Buckeyes can breathe a sigh of relief as they kept the only running back they had in the 2013 recruiting class in the fold. Ohio State took a chance when it told Elliott he would be the only running back it took in the class.

What it means for Missouri: The Tigers swung and missed on the top-ranked recruit in their state. Now, they’ll look to four-star running back Anthony Sherrils to pick up the slack.

Turning point: Jan. 27. When Elliott didn’t come home from his official visit to Missouri with a commitment, it locked the ESPN 150 running back in with the Buckeyes.

Surprise (scale of 1-5): 1. Elliott has been an Ohio State pledge since April 1. he’s also been one of the biggest recruiters of other members of the class. The fact he stuck to his commitment shows how much he wanted to play for the Buckeyes.

Immediate impact (scale of 1-5): 1. The depth chart at running back is not a weakness for Ohio State. With Jordan Hall, Carlos Hyde, Rod Smith and Bri’onte Dunn already on campus, cracking the two-deep roster might be tough for Elliott right off the bat.