The temperature is 83 degrees, and John Burroughs students are frolicking in the sunshine on the quadrangle behind the main school building. Frisbees are flying everywhere while seniors are lounging on plush couches dragged out-of-doors.
Ezekiel Elliott is off to track practice. No time to dilly dally for this abundantly talented junior athlete.
Elliott, an All-State performer in football; second-team all league in basketball and the fastest hurdler in the region richly deserves the newest honor: Ladue-Frontenac Patch Male Athlete for the winter. He could win this honor any of the three different seasons.
And to think, this 6-foot-0, 200 pound rusher/receiver/hurdler/point guard is just 16-year-old. He’s athletically superior to most of his peers. Football recruiters drool over his talents.
Zeke is the hottest football prospect in St. Louis this year. No less than 19 schools have hurled scholarship offers beneath his nose, the likes of Mizzou, Illinois, Arkansas, Kansas, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Iowa to mention a few.
He is carefully managing this process right now; has no favorites, and vows he will make a public announcement on signing day next February 1.
Right now, he listens to his coaches Gus Frerotte, football and Steve Wilcutt, basketball. “Zeke is a great football player, no doubt,” says his football coach. “We are working on developing his leadership skills, then he will be a great athlete,” said Frerotte.
Wilcutt has his view of the world. “We have him (Zeke) for just four months and he makes second-team Metro League,” said Wilcutt. “He’s the cheeriest kid I know. He’s always got a smile on his face,” said Wilcutt. “He’s a joy to coach.”
Opposing defensive linemen and backs rarely smile when No. 2 is on the gridiron. On a team that went 14-1, before losing the title game of the Show-Me Bowl, Zeke rushed for an area-leading 42 TDS and 1,802 yards. His durability is something to brag about.
He caught 23 balls for 401 yards and 6 TDs. “He’s so versatile. He could play anywhere,” said Frerotte. “Schools see him as a running back, a wide receiver, an H back or a defensive back. He brings so many options to any school,” said Frerotte.
Defenders spent last fall grasping for air while trying to stop this top notch rusher.
Basketball wise, Zeke scored 10 points a game on a team that finished 20-6, having lost their district championship game to rival Lutheran North. Elliott was a 56 percent three-point shooter.
On the track, don’t plan on crossing the lanes while he is running one of his hurdle events. He was clocked in 14.13 in the 110 high hurdles, fastest in the metro and a 38.53 in the 300 intermediate hurdles, fifth best in the area.
Elliott wouldn’t trade his Burroughs experience for any large school program. He is a product of the City Academy and entered Burroughs in the seventh grade. He is working on a 3.0 grade point average and likes his physics classes the best.
“There’s a lot of bonding going on here (at Burroughs). I like to be part of these different teams,” he said.
Though he has no plans to coach sports, he enjoys working with younger kids with his summer track team the St. Louis Express. He began playing football at age seven and learned in the Mathews-Dickey program.
“I just like to compete. I like to help my school out. I’ve been in sports since my folks put me in T-ball when I was three years old.”
His first sport was baseball.
The good news. Zeke has another year with the Bombers sports teams. Some colleges want him for both track and football. Why not, with that speed and agility, there is none better.