Stand-in quarterback Cardale Jones might have grabbed more headlines during (and, in the time since) Ohio State's national-title run, but it was running back Ezekiel Elliott who the Buckeyes rode to the title.
Elliott had a postseason for the ages last season. It all kicked off with a 220-yard, two-touchdown performance against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game. He followed that up with 232 yards and two touchdowns against Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal and then 246 yards and four touchdowns against Oregon in the national championship game. That's 698 yards and eight touchdowns during the three-game championship run.
Pulling back the curtain on the vote
Elliott earned votes from five of seven CFB 24/7 experts, with four of those votes coming in the top five. Elliott was one of six players to receive a first-place vote. No matter who quarterbacks Ohio State this season, Elliott will be a staple of the Buckeyes' offense.
What some of our analysts are saying about Elliott
"He has a beautiful mix of speed and power. He can grind out tough yards inside as well as hit the home run outside." -- Daniel Jeremiah
"Elliot has everything you want from a workhorse running back and looked like the most dominant player in college football by the end of the season. He'll wreck shop this season." -- Lance Zierlein
"Runs with smarts, power, and speed. The way he ended last season was just the beginning for him." -- Charles Davis
"Posted 1,878 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2014. Rushed for 698 yards in Buckeyes' three-game run to national title. Strong runner with very good speed." -- Gil Brandt
"Rare workhorse runner with vision, balance, body control and home run speed." -- Bucky Brooks
Where do fans rank Elliott?
We asked Twitter users who they considered the best player in college football. Elliott finished fourth in the fan vote, a status among fans that was no doubt the result of his performances in games on national television late last season.