Austin Ekeler is a running back for the Los Angeles Chargers. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He played college football at Western State Colorado University. Here's the 10 Facts You Didn't Know About Austin Ekeler.
10. Ekeler attended Eaton High School in rural Colorado.
The school averaged just 90 kids per graduating class, making it easy for college football programs to overlook Ekeler. During his senior season at Eaton, Ekeler ran for 2,398 yards with 42 total touchdowns. It still didn’t turn the heads of many college programs at the D1 and D2 levels.
9. Ekeler wears the number 30 jersey for the LA Chargers and chose it after wearing the number 30 in high school.
While in high school, Ekeler didn’t know what number to wear, but the Eaton High School offensive coordinator gave the young running back some advice about picking a number.
The offensive coordinator told Ekeler that “it is the player that makes the number and not the number that makes the player.” Ekeler decided to wear the number 30 and stuck with it through high school. Although he wore the number 31 jersey at Western Colorado University, Ekeler got the chance to go back to his roots and wear number 30 for the LA Chargers.
8. The LA Chargers running back was a two-sport star in high school.
Ekeler was All-conference and all-state in both football and track. Still, few colleges came calling. In the end, Ekeler signed to Division 2 school, Western Colorado University. The small school is located in Gunnison, Colorado, and Ekeler never got the chance to play against elite college football teams.
7. Ekeler’s athletic ability comes from his mother, Suzanne Ekeler-Adams.
Suzanne played college hoops at The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Along with coaching high school sports, Suzanne has also worked as a math teacher. Suzanne taught her son to play a range of sports as a kid from baseball to football to soccer.
The ability to play a variety of sports has helped Ekeler flourish as a running back.
6. The Austin Ekeler Foundation was started to help people and communities in need.
The running back aims to help those that may find themselves in situations similar to his own while growing up. The foundation works with kids with natural talent and strong work ethics, but have little in the way of financial resources.
The foundation’s goal is to provide opportunities to those in need by bringing reusable resources to communities across the United States that can be utilized by a large number of people for many years to come.
In 2021 and 2022, the foundation’s goal is to raise $20,000 for new equipment for youth football programs. One of the more recent successes the foundation has had was providing a brand-new weight room complete with state-of-the-art equipment, sound systems, and flooring to the students of Santa Barbara High School.
5. By the end of Ekeler’s senior season at Western Colorado University, the running back had become a cannon ball capable of bouncing off of defenders and barreling down the field toward the endzone.
During his time at Western Colorado, Ekeler did not see much action against elite college football teams. It is unlikely that Ekeler would have been noticed by NFL scouts had it not been for his 40-yard dash time of 4.43 seconds. He also displayed a vertical leap of 40 and a half inches.
Future first-round NFL draft pick Christian McCaffrey was the only player at the 2017 NFL Combine to post similar numbers.
4. Despite his fast 4.43-second 40-yard dash, Ekeler went undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The undrafted running back ended up signing with the Chargers. Although he didn’t have the strongest OTA training camp, he was still rewarded with a three-year, $1.66 million contract, and a $5,000 signing bonus.
After being told he made the team by then-Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, Ekeler was sent to see special teams coach George Stewart.
According to Stewart, when he first saw Ekeler, he thought the running back was actually a Chargers ball boy coming up to ask questions about the balls at practice.
3. Ekeler’s girlfriend is Taylor Frick and fans may have seen her in the running back YouTube videos.
Frick produces much of the content that Ekeler has posted online. Frick was born on September 18, 1996. She met Ekeler at Western Colorado University. Frick was also a student athlete and played on the soccer team. She most recently worked as a personal fitness trainer in southern California.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Frick and Ekeler streamed aerobic workouts on Twitch and YouTube. The couple received plenty of attention for their series of unconventional challenges called “Freak Flex.”
2. Ekeler’s nickname is “Pound for Pound.”
Despite being just 5 feet 8 inches tall and 195 pounds, Ekeler is one of the strongest players in the NFL. He pushes weight that most linemen are expected to lift.
The running back’s workouts are famous at the LA Chargers training facilities in Costa Mesa, California. Along with doing traditional workouts, Ekeler has developed some unusual workouts. Along with his girlfriend Taylor Frick, Ekeler has posted some of his workouts online.
Ekeler’s incredible workouts date back to his college days as a freshman. Teammates gawked at Ekeler squatting weight that most offensive and defensive linemen put up.
1. The Chargers running back doesn’t talk much about his biological father, who is currently doing life in prison.
Shortly after Ekeler’s birth, his mother and biological father split up. His mother later remarried to a man that Ekeler says he hated. In interviews, the little bit Ekeler has said about his stepfather shows that there is still a lot of anger toward him.
While growing up in Briggsdale, Colorado, a small unincorporated town, Ekeler worked for his stepfather’s fencing company, building fences. From sunrise to sundown, he put in fence posts, strung up wire, and clipped it to the posts.
Although Ekeler hated it, he has admitted that installing fences each day taught him hard work and dedication.
That’s all 10 Facts You Didn't Know About Austin Ekeler, tell us where you would rank Austin Ekeler among the best running backs in the NFL!