How a need to succeed fueled Austin Ekeler’s Rocky Mountain climb to the NFL

The Chargers’ Austin Ekeler, known for his physical running, drags Tennessee defenders as he gains extra yardage.

Suzanne, Wyett and Austin Ekeler at the younger brother’s game at Windsor High School in Colorado.

Austin Ekeler, 6, played soccer as a child in Eaton, Colo., about an hour outside Denver.

Suzanne Ekeler with son Austin Ekeler at a Nebraska game. (Courtesy of Ekeler family)

Western State’s Austin Ekeler carries against Northern Colorado on Sept. 5, 2015. (Joshua Polson / Associated Press)