Kaden Elliss lands on Paul Hornung Award Watch List - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Kaden Elliss lands on Paul Hornung Award Watch List

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Idaho senior linebacker and tight end Kaden Elliss was named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List, the Louisville 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," said head coach Paul Petrino. "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 Vandal 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 both offense and defense. He is also a special teams weapon, blocking an extra-point attempt last season.
 
The Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse is in its ninth year. The 2018 watch list includes 43 student-athletes. A 17-person committee will choose the finalists for the Paul Hornung Award later in the fall. The committee will ultimately vote for the winner from those finalists, with an online fan vote counting for the 18th vote. The 2017 award was won by Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
 
Nicknamed The Golden Boy, Hornung was a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Notre Dame in 1956 and the NFL's Most Valuable Player with the Green Bay Packers whose versatility earned him enshrinement in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. At Notre Dame, Hornung played every position in the offensive backfield, handled punting and placekicking duties, returned kickoffs, and started at safety on defense. He set an NFL single-season scoring record for the champion Green Bay Packers in 1961 that stood for 46 years.
 

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