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Versatile Idaho football player Kaden Elliss named to Paul Hornung Award Watch List

Sacramento State quarterback Kevin Thomson  fumbles on a hit from Idaho’s Kaden Elliss  during the first half  Aug. 31, 2017, at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Sacramento State quarterback Kevin Thomson fumbles on a hit from Idaho’s Kaden Elliss during the first half Aug. 31, 2017, at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

MOSCOW, Idaho – Idaho senior linebacker and tight end Kaden Elliss was named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List, the Louisville (Kentucky) Sports Commission announced Thursday.

The Paul Hornung Award, presented by Texas Roadhouse, is given to college football’s most versatile player.

“As good of a football player as Kaden is, he’s a better person,” Idaho head coach Paul Petrino said. “He’s an amazing young man, a great leader and a great athlete. He can really play anything on defense and he’s such a play maker on offense.”

Elliss earned All-Sun Belt accolades each of the past two seasons at linebacker and is a preseason All-Big Sky selection at linebacker ahead of the 2018 campaign. He enters his senior year with 228 career tackles, including 32 for loss and 10 sacks. Elliss has intercepted five passes, forced five fumbles, recovered three and blocked a kick.

Elliss is expected to play an expanded role in the Vandals’ offense this season. He debuted on the offensive side of the ball last season, taking snaps at tight end, slot receiver and full back. He caught seven passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

“I was super excited about the opportunity to play tight end on top of linebacker,” Elliss said. “It’s really fun. I’d like to play 100 plays if they would let me. It gives me more of a grasp on the outcome of the game. I feel like I have more of an impact and can just play my heart out.”

His versatility goes beyond simply playing both sides of the line of scrimmage. Elliss will line up at various positions on offense and defense. He is also a special teams weapon, blocking an extra-point attempt last season.


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