January 29, 2015


By Jihad Hassan Muhammad 

Special to the NNPA from The Final Call 


DALLAS — The National Collegiate Ath­letic Asso­ciation made history here Jan. 12 by replacing its Bowl Championship Series with a College Football Playoff National Championship and 19-year-old Ohio State University sophomore Ezekiel Elijah Elliott also made history.


Ezekiel became the first Offensive MVP of the College Football Playoff National Champ­ionship, leading the Ohio State Buckeyes to a 42-20 win over the University of Oregon Ducks.


Ezekiel broke a National Championship record running 36 times for 242 yards. The previous record was held by former two-time Pro Bowler and NFL player Vince Young.


Ezekiel is becoming a household name and made the cover of Sports Illustrated.


Ohio State star running back Ezekiel Elijah Elliott and his father Salahuddin El-Muhammad.


A young man seemingly poised for greatness, Ezekiel’s upbringing, strong relationship with and guidance from his father has helped to bring him this far.


“From the conception of Ezekiel, it has always been from the teachings of the Most Hon. Elijah Muhammad under the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. He gets his name Ezekiel because his mother had a vision of the Mother Plane, and when she described what she saw I went to the Book of Ezekiel and what she described fit what the book said. So she named him Ezekiel after that great prophet and Elijah after Elijah Muhammad,” said Salahuddin El-Muhammad, speaking proudly of his son. Brother Salahuddin is also known by his former name Stacy Elliott.


Brother Salahuddin and his wife Dawn raised Ezekiel and his two younger sisters in St. Louis.


They are former University of Missouri star athletes. Brother Salahuddin excelled at football and his wife was track and field great—two sports Ezekiel expressed love for early in life. Brother Salahuddin says his son’s dominance in sports is a reflection of who Ezekiel was raised to be.


“He was taught that his gifts in athletics are to bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and to (Allah) should go the praise,” explained Brother Salahuddin.


There has been praise for the young man’s character and integrity off the field and Brother Salahuddin continues to watch over Ezekiel. “The guidance of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s teaching of How to Give Birth to a God was followed when preparing Ezekiel, and we see it manifesting now,” Brother Salahuddin said.


He knows the struggle firsthand in making sure his son stays grounded and focused. He moved to Columbus, Ohio, home of Ohio State University, to be with his son and to make sure Elijah is rightly guided, leaving his wife and daughters in St. Louis. The move has been challenging but he and his wife would not have it any other way. I decided to stay “with my son, so that Shaitan (Satan) would not take him off the path he was born into existence for.”


Ezekiel Elijah Elliott and basketball great Lebron James. Photos courtesy of Salahuddin El-Muhammad


Brother Salahuddin has been there every step of the way as a mentor, and a father, overseeing Ezekiel’s dealing with a recruitment process in which over 50 colleges sought to offer scholarships in football and track and field.


“His dad got real involved, and his dad’s issue is that he loves his son so much that he was right in the middle to the point where it drove us nuts,” said coach Urban Meyer of Ohio State, who has enjoyed a successful college football coaching career in  a New York Times article.


Some sports insiders and analysts are crying out for Ezekiel to go into the National Football League now, saying the league should lift a rule that only allows players to enter the pros three years after high school. Brother Salahuddin plans to help Ezekiel do what is in Ezekiel’s best interest.


“I, with the guidance of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, am simply here for him telling him to be careful of his image, and what he does. I have to protect him,” said Brother Salahuddin. Ezekiel will be a junior next year and is set to be a top contender for the Heisman Trophy.


Brother Salahuddin is committed to helping his son avoid the pitfalls and traps faced by sport figures. With so many icons and entertainers being captured by the negative side of fame this world offers, the Muslim dad is committed to seeing his son’s gifts and talents fully bear fruit.


Jihad Muhammad is managing editor of The Dallas Weekly.

Category: Sports