People who follow soccer near must have heard of the name Austin Ekeler. Autin is an American football running back, currently teamed with the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL).
Unlike many athletes, who rose to fame quite quickly, the journey of Austin Ekeler has been a long and patient one. Despite having an exceptional high school career, he was overlooked by every Division I college.
Every program of Division II colleges that did want him would ask him to switch positions. Except for one college that he hadn’t heard of Western State Colorado University.
So how did a boy spending his childhood in farmland gained to NFL stardom? Before going any further, let us have a look at the quick facts.
|Full Name||Austin Ekeler|
|Birth Date||May 17, 1995|
|Birth Place||Lincoln, Nebraska|
|Age||25 years (as of 2020)|
|Alma Mater||Western State Colorado University
Eaton High School
|Mother’s Name||Suzanne Ekeler- Adams|
|Height||5 ft 10 in.|
|Profession||Professional football player|
|Current team||Los Angeles Chargers|
|Net Worth||$1 million|
|Social Media||Facebook, Instagram, Twitter|
Austin Ekeler | Childhood
Ekeler was born on May 17, 1995. Her mother, Suzanne, gave birth to Austin in Lincoln, Nebraska. Austin does not remember his biological father as his parents split shortly after he was born. Besides, he is sentenced to prison for life and does not talk about this subject.
Shortly after their split, Suzanne moved to Colorado Springs and met her future husband, who stayed for eleven years. Growing up, he hated his abusive stepfather.
His mother was a math teacher who also had to take other part-time jobs each summer to financially support the family. Besides, she also played basketball during her college days and coached high school sports for years.
Austin and his half-brother Wyett had a very modest and simple childhood. They moved to his stepfather’s ranch and were full-time employees who would take care of their horses, cows, goats, and chickens. They had to be awake by 6 a.m. for backbreaking chores and were sent to break ice apart in the water tanks during winter.
Ekeler recalls that he hated every minute of it and would have pay to the price if anything went wrong.
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Austin Ekeler | Education
Austin attended Eaton High School and played college football. Football was his haven. At that time, he did not even love football. He desperately wanted to escape that place, and therefore he saw football was his chance to leave. Austin put his mind, energy, and focus on football.
Despite scoring 42 touchdowns with 2,400 rushing yards during his senior year, many Division I colleges did not respond to him. Division II colleges, which he approached, wanted to change his positions. Finally, Western State Colorado University, which he had not heard of, wanted him without any changes in his position.
Austin remembers being in a state of confusion when he found out he was ranked 22nd with the most rushing yards in the entire country, yet nobody wanted him.
The day he received his high school degree, he left for Western State Colorado University, Gunnison, in 2013. In 2016, he made a difficult choice of putting his degree on hold as he was preparing for the draft. He was four classes away from graduating in energy management but decided to take a break instead.
His mother being a teacher, stressed the importance of education and happily accepted going back to college to complete his degree. In 2018, he decided to go to college and took classes in Oil and Gas Law and Prospects Economics of Oil and Gas. Moreover, he knew that he needs something to fall back on.
Austin Ekeler | College Career
During his time in Western Colorado, he played college football from 2013-2016.
As a freshman, he played nine games. Initially, he was one of the team’s nine running backs but quickly earned a starting job. No teammates would take the game seriously as no one considered football as a career. He quickly became the team captain for all his years in college.
My teammates and coaches, memories of a lifetime https://t.co/NR8MWygzxM
— Austin Ekeler (@AustinEkeler) August 19, 2020
For his efforts, he was named Don Hansen All-Super Region IV Offensive First Team (2013), Don Hansen All-Super Region IV Freshman of the Year (2013), Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Offensive Freshman of the Year (2013). Austin averaged 134.3 app purpose yards per game. He rushed 1,049 yards ranking him third in RMAC and tenth for a season in his college history.
As a Sophomore, he rushed 14 touchdowns and set his school record of 1,676 rushing yards, 2,093 total all-purpose yards. Besides, with 152.4 yards, he recorded the second-most average rushing yards per game in college history.
He led his team as a junior to Division II. In 2015, he became the university’s all-time career leader in rushing yards. Moreover, he was the Harlon Hill Trophy candidate, given to the top Division II player.
Austin was the recipient of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association (D2CCA) All-America Second Team and earned his second College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America honor.
He played 40 collegiate games and finished with 5,857 yards with 55 touchdowns. From a nobody who never got the attention he deserved, this time, people started noticing him.
Austin Ekeler | Professional Career
After being undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, he signed a three-year deal worth $1.66 million with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Austin had his first career touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles with a 35-yard rush. Furthermore, he finished his rookie season with 260 rushing and two rushing touchdowns.
It’s that time again… ⚡️⚡️⚡️ pic.twitter.com/bTHUsIFc8f
— Austin Ekeler (@AustinEkeler) October 4, 2020
Austin opened the season against Kansas City Chiefs and had 39 rushing yards. Against a game with the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14, he suffered from a neck injury and missed two season games. Austin finished his 2018 season with 554 rushing yards, 404 receiving yards, and three rushing touchdowns.
Ekeler started the 2019 season as a starter, and in Week 1, he rushed 12 times for 58 yards against Indianapolis Colts. He finished his 2019 season with 557 rushing yards with three rushing touchdowns.
Proving to be a valuable asset, he extended his contract in March 2020, with the Chargers for four more years, this time worth $24.5 million.
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Austin Ekeler | Net Worth
Until 2019, he was under a contract of $1.66 million, with a salary of $600,000. At the lowest, NFL players are paid around $400,000- $600,000, whereas at the highest level, they can be paid up to $50 million and above.
Going from undrafted to one of the Chargers’ key players, he is one of the biggest success stories. Ekeler’s exact net worth has not been estimated yet. But it is estimated that,
his net worth is around $1 million.
His net worth is more likely to increase after extending his contract with the Chargers in 2020, worth 24.5 million. After signing the contract, he became a multimillionaire and has started two new businesses. He occasionally enjoys celebratory dinners at Red Robin.
Austin Ekeler | Girlfriend
Although much information is not currently available, it is reported that Austin is in a relationship with Taylor Frick. Although he rarely posts about her on his social media accounts, numerous news articles confirm their relationship and reports that she is a personal trainer.
Austin currently lives near a beach and now plans to buy a house of his own with his Taylor.
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Austin Ekeler | Injury
It is not a secret when we say that athletes are prone to injury. In September 2020, the Chargers announced that Austin suffered from a grade 2 hamstring injury. But during a live stream, he said that ” part of the tendon essentially ripped off the bone,” which is close to grade 3 injury.
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The injury took place in Week 4 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Initially, he was placed on injured reserve, which meant that he would miss three games. However, Anthony Lynn, the Chargers’ head coach, later said in a press conference that he would be back “later rather than sooner.”
Austin Ekeler | Personality
Austin is and has always been dedicated and never had the slightest hint to quit. Even during his ranch days, he might have hated every bit of it, but he never complained about it. Like his mother, he is quite competitive.
His mother feels very blessed to have a son like him. It indeed might not have been easy to raise children alone. In an interview, Autin said his mother is his role model and significantly influenced his life.
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He is known to put maximum effort into everything he does. His mother said that both their children have an addiction to work hard and to be better themselves.
Austin has always been a responsible person. Since his young age, he had significant responsibilities, from taking care of the animals to breaking the ice at 6 a.m. and babysitting his brother. Therefore, he had a sense of responsibility, and the work ethic was instilled in him since he was young.
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Austin Ekeler | Social Media
Frequently Asked Questions
When is Austin Ekeler expected to return for the 2020 season?
The exact timetable of his return has not been announced officially. His recovery period is estimated to 4-to-6 weeks.
What is Austin Ekeler’s jersey number?
Who will replace Austin during his recovery?
Chargers are likely to choose between Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson until Austin recovers from his injury.