Big Sky Power Rankings Week 4

Reminder this is a “Power Ranking.” It means different things to different people. Some view it as the best team, some view it as hottest team at the moment. At the end of the year, the team that wins the conference may not be No. 1 in our rankings. We had 15 voters this week.

This week | Team | Point total (First Place Votes)

1. Montana

Last Week: Bye

This Week: vs Cal Poly

My Ranking: 1

Still Riding high after the stunner against the puppies on Lake Washington, where I may have been only FCS personality to take the Griz confidently. And Yes! I will continue to toot my own horn about it!

They get a warmup this week against Cal Poly before a top 10 FCS clash under the lights on ESPN next weekend. Rumor has it College Gameday may attend…

2. UC Davis

Last Week:W vs Dixie State 60-27

This Week: @ #14 Weber State

My Ranking: 2

UC Davis having a storybook OOC. Beat a Tulsa team that in 2020 played top ranked Cincinati for the AAC Title. Blow out rival San Diego and then pick up a 2nd FCS win last week vs Dixie State. The Aggies playoff resume sitting at 3.5 games after 3 weeks is huge.

If they can pick up a road win vs #13 Weber State, they will have an argument for the top spot next week.

3. Montana State

Last Week W vs San Diego 52-10

This Week: Bye

My Ranking 5

Bobcats had an impressive showing vs Wyoming (so did Idaho two seasons back…) and then beat up two teams that according to the VS Simulator would lose at home to Central Washington. The wins may count towards the playoffs, when Central Washington does not. But EWUs win over CWU is more impressive than either of Montana States.

As you can tell I am more in the minority here for the Big Sky Podcast Network as I have them as the tail team of the big 5 that should make the playoff, but as a last 4 in type of squad.

Matt McKay does look like an improvement from years past. But a 65% completion percentage against the teams he has faced does nothing to give this team a nod over the teams behind them on this list in my opinion.

4. Eastern Washington

Last Week: W @ Western Illinois 62-56

This Week: @ Southern Utah

My Ranking 4

The farewell tour for this band is off to a great start. The first three tour stops include a big showing in Vegas a gig that people from outside might be suprised by, but those that know the band, know they had it in them. Then they have a small show at their local bar and it goes as expected. Followed up with a bit of a mess last week where show went off, but not without so hiccups and eyebrow raising from its fans.

They get an amphitheatre show this week down in the desert. Should be a pretty tame show, but they can’t get caught looking ahead to maybe their headline show next week.

5. Weber State

Last Week: L vs #3 James Madison 24-37

This Week: vs #12 UC Davis

My Ranking: 3

They have lost to the teams they should have, and dominated the teams they should have. So what are they?

Photo: Chris Hammond

They are likely still going to grab a share of the Big Sky Title. You know you are the king when people start rooting against you, simply to make them feel better about their teams. Ask any Montana fan, they have been dealing with it for decades. But that is where people seem to be with Weber State. Starting to get some irrational takes that seem to be said, simple to try and speak them into existense. And I understand things dont last forever. But with Jay Hill still their, I am a little baffled people have turned on Wildcats so much. But like I mentioned earlier, alot of it feels like people just rooting against them out of either hope, fear or fatigue.

I still believe in this team more than most. They may actually preform better in the undercat role. A win vs a SURGING UC Davis team would probably put them back in the spotlight. a loss to UC Davis and expect them to be on the back peddle a bit and most likely fall out of top 5 next week.

6. Northern Arizona

Last Week: W @ Arizona 21-19

This Week: @ Northern Colorado

My Ranking: 7

This one is tough. NAU has gotten curb stomped by the teams they needed to beat and beat a team that really doesnt do anything for them. Im sure Lumberjack fans will disagree with me, but I would trade the UA win last week for a win vs South Dakota and a competetive game or W vs Sam Houston.

I dont think they are worthy of being this high. But everyone below them has done nothing to justify being at the 6 spot either.

If they lose to Northern Colorado and go 0-3 vs FCS to open the season they could find themselves at 12 or 13 next week.

7. Sacramento State

Last Week: L @ Cal 30-42

This Week: @ Idaho State

My Ranking: 11

It appears others in the Big Sky Podcast Network are coming around to the Sac State is back to being in a building stage, not a competing stage. 2019 was a flash in the pan and a few years early. Kevin Thompson had this team rolling in 2019, and when he went out, they didnt look the same.

Well he is gone now and that trend continues even with STUDS like Pierre Williams and Elijah Dotson.

Just to cement this point more.

Dixie State 7 Sacramento State 19

Dixie State 3 Weber State (& their awful offense) 41

Dixie State 27 UC Davis 60

8. Southern Utah

Last Week: W @ Tarleton St 40-35

This Week: vs #6 Montana

My Ranking: 13

Look, the Thunderbirds were about 1:41 seconds from being undefeated in the Spring Season. La’kea Kaho Ohanohano-Davis is a NFL type guy, Landom Measom is Mr.Realiable and Justin Miller is improving. Yet the rest of the team is just simply not good enough to compete vs middle to upper tier sky schools.

Not to mention they sold away their OOC playing two bodybag games within 5 days to open the season. Like, Why?!

9. Portland State

Last Week: W v Western Oregon 21-7

This Week: vs #13 Montana State

My Ranking: 8

#BarnysBeerGarden was a great pubilicty stunt to get students into the game and give this team a chance to win them over.

Not sure the 21-7 win vs D2 W.Oregon was the result to keep them there. Unless Barney brings this promotion back and adds Dots Pretzles to the mix, I think “Top 5 Big Sky Program” Portland State may be a team with about 500 fans and a .500 record.

10. Idaho State

Last Week: Bye

This Week: vs Sacramento State

My Ranking: 6

People are down on the Bengals, but not his guy.

They may be 0-2 to start the year but those loses are to #10 North Dakota and MWC frontrunner Nevada.

I think others will come around to Vanderwaal and the Bengal-Cats if they can pull off a thorough stomping of Sac State.

11. Idaho

Last Week: L @ Oregon State 0-42

This Week: Bye

My Ranking: 9

Look Idaho has done nothing to earn a higher spot on this list. But much like Weber they are exactly where we thought they would be.

The glass half full outlook is 1-2 with a lower division win (tighter) and P5 blowouts losses (by more) was how the 2016 Vandal campaign started. They ended the year 9-4 on a 5 game win streak with the crown jewel being 2 touchdown dogs and blowing out a MWC side in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

If you want to know more listen to our podcast episode this week.

12. Northern Colorado

Last Week: L vs Lamar 10-17 (OT)

This Week: vs Northern Arizona

My Ranking: 10

Start the year down, put together some road preformance that got people to take notice and then they lose home opener vs a bad Lamar side.

Northern Colorado may just be Northern Colorado still. The hope was fun while it lasted.

13. Cal Poly

Last Week: L vs South Dakota 14-48

This Week: @ #4 Montana

My Ranking:12

I mean, people believe in Baldwin, just not yet.

*** As always I”m not an journalist so, take your gramatical error comments, & put them in a beg some-Where. Hope you enjoyed the content regarless if you maid it too dis disclaimer 

😉

Big Damm Preview: Game 2 – Idaho vs. Indiana

Fresh off starting the season with a 68-0 beatdown of Simon Fraser, Idaho hits the road to Big Ten country for a showdown with the Indiana Hoosiers. This will be the first time in history that Idaho and Indiana match up.

Last Game:
Idaho shredded Simon Fraser as six different players each registered more than 20 rushing yards on the way to 316 total yards on the ground.

The preseason #17 Hoosiers got drubbed on the road by a different black and gold team as Iowa went wire-to-wire in a 34-6 victory.

Quarterbacks:
Zach Borisch got the start for the Vandals against Simon Fraser, but never threw the ball [editor’s note: #LetBorischThrow] as Idaho alternated between CJ Jordan and Mike Beaudry as the primary quarterback for each quarter, with Borisch relegated to spot duty running the read option.
Jordan, playing the first and third quarters, went 7 for 12 with 161 yards and two TDs, adding another 61 yards and a TD on the ground. Beaudry went 10 for 15 with 116 yards, plus 47 yards rushing. Borisch had 8 rushes for 34 yards, one of which was a botched snap over his head that he recovered for negative 14 yards (if you remove this bad snap broken play, he went 7 rushes for 48 yards.)
Idaho is expected to play all three quarterbacks this week against the Hoosiers.

Indiana returns redshirt junior Michael Penix Jr. [editor’s note: our nonexistent lawyers have informed us that we must stress the pronunciation is pen-icks.] While turning in an all-conference stat line in 2020, at one point leading the Big Ten in passing yards, yards per game, touchdowns, completions, and attempts; Penix suffered an ACL injury to end his season early. Despite the injury, Penix was given Big Ten preseason honors for 2021, and is on the watchlist for the Maxwell, Davey O’Brien, Walter Camp, Manning, and Unitas awards. Against Iowa last week, his first game since the injury, he went 14 for 31, 156 yards, and three INTs.

Idaho’s Key Players/Statistics:
The Vandal offense distributed the ball all over the field last week, as 13 players registered a rush or reception. Roshaun Johnson paced the backs with 10 rushes for 87 yards, and one catch for 17 yards. Hayden Hatten led the receivers with 106 yards and a TD off of two catches, while Michael Noil had four receptions for 68 yards. Newcomers Elisha Cummings (six carries for 56 yards), Terez Traynor (three catches for 25 yards), and Mekhi Stevenson (two catches for 22 yards, plus four punt returns for 61 yards) passed the eye test with limited offensive stats and look to be key contributors moving forward.

Defensively, Idaho held Simon Fraser to just 90 yards, and had 27 players register a defensive statistic, led by Noah Elliss’s eight tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss. Hogan Hatten, Malakai Williams, Rahsaan Crawford, Coleman Johnson, and tight end turned linebacker Logan Kendall all registered a sack. Sean McCormick had the Vandals’ only turnover, with a 32 yard interception return.

Indiana’s Key Players/Statistics:
Indiana finished 12th in the AP poll last season, their highest finish in over 50 years, and came into 2021 with their first preseason ranking since 1969. Head coach Tom Allen was named the AFCA Coach of the Year last season.

Offensively, Penix carries the bulk of the accolades for the Hoosier offense, but receiver Ty Fryfogle was an All-American last season, and is on the watchlist for the Maxwell and Biletnikoff Awards this year. Tight end Peyton Hendershot is on the watchlist for the John Mackey Award, offensive lineman Matthew Bedford is on the Outland Trophy watchlist, and running back Stephen Carr is on the Doak Walker Award watchlist. Carr received the bulk of the work on the ground last week against Iowa, with 19 carries for 57 yards. Fryfogle and Hendershot had over half of the receiving output, with eight catches and 110 yards between them. Lou Groza Award watchlist kicker Charles Campbell scored all six points for the Indiana offense last week.

Linebacker Micah McFadden and cornerback Tiawan Mullen also received All-American honors last season, and both players are on the watchlist for the Bednarik and Nagurski Trophies. McFadden is also on the Butkus Award watchlist, while Mullen is on the Jim Thorpe Award watchlist.

Key to the Game:
Avoid injury. Get more clarity on the QB competition. Get out alive.

Game Predictions:
Producer Dallas: Well, last week I was not prepared for Simon Fraser to be as bad as they were. Hand up, I got last week’s prediction wrong. This week, I’m more confident. Indiana is too big, too deep, and too talented for Idaho to pull off the Big Sky over FBS upset that was in vogue last week and I don’t see Idaho containing the Hoosier offense like Iowa did. Indiana wins 45-13.
Boatman: Indiana 52-21 (with the back door cover by Idaho at the end)
Brian: Indiana 45-17
Chris: Indiana 35-18

Vandal 2-Deeps to Start Camp

This how I view the 2-deep if the season started today instead of training camp. This was put together with things we have heard from folks close to program, things Coach Petrino said at media days and a bit of the eye test from last year.

The Offense

QB

Seems like somethings in life are certain. As a Vandal fan QB competition is one of those things. Sometimes its good, sometimes it is bad. Last season was first time since 2017 season we didn’t have a QB Competition. Beaudry was the pen in starter. Coach Petrino has been open this year senior Mike Beaudry and Freshman Caleb “CJ” Jordan will compete again.

We have seen

Linehan beat out Challich

Linehan beat out Luton

Petrino beat out Richardson x 2

Who wins now?

CJ Jordan
SeasonGPCMPATTINTYDSTDLong%AVG/PAVG/G
2020-21116270183023.596.8183.0
SeasonGPATTYDSTDLongAVG/AAVG/G
2020-21114380192.738.0

Mike Beaudry
SeasonGPCMPATTINTYDSTDLong%AVG/PAVG/G
2020-214731223794349.606.5198.5
SeasonGPATTYDSTDLongAVG/AAVG/G
2020-21425971163.924.3

The main thing for this position is finally having “the guy” and that guy staying healthy.

I would be remise, as a noted Nikhil Nayar fanboy to not say, “Don’t Sleep on Nayar!”

FB

Logan Kendall, no question. Guy is All-Big Sky and possibly All-American. If he goes down the name to know is most likely Trase Letexier a transfer from Montana that can play some Tightend as well.

RB

The myth, the man, the make Calin Criner breakdance, Aundre Carter has found himself back on the official roster. A happy site for many Vandals. I gave him the nod at starter. There is a lot to consider here though. We don’t know how fit he stayed while away and if he lost a step. I will give him benefit of the doubt right now.

It wont matter much as we really have so many solid options to carry the rock. Sophomore Nick Romano continues to impress, Redshirt Junior Roshaun Johnson has ability to close out a game, incoming freshman Elisha Cummings shows promise and should see some snaps, Redshirt Freshman Kiahn Martinez could have breakout year and what most of you are here for Redshirt Sophomore Zach Borisch is back in the RB room.

Though I expect Borisch to be a bit of Taysom Hill type. Just get him ball, whether it is RB, QB, TE, WR or KR, the guy is a W E A P O N.

WR

It is odd to say we are stacked at a position, when our offense has been anemic at best at times. But we have had a lot of new talent come in. Picking this position is a crap shoot. For instance I have Cutrell Haywood listed as a 2. That probably wont be the case, this group is just going to be a heavy rotation.

The coaches seems very high on the transfer in of Michael Graves from American River CC, Mekhi Stevenson from UNLV and Terez Traynor from Western Kentucky.

Jermaine Jackson our speedster from College of Mateo that went out after only a few very promising plays to start the season should be back.

Then you have All-Big Sky Hayden Hatten returning. Also, Some younger guys that show promise Beachem, McCormick, Puffer and Noil.

You could get dizzy keeping track of who is on the field at this position group.

OL

I am gonna be honest here, and shame on me. I am 5-foot-5 and the furthest thing from an offensive lineman. I know zero of the dudes in the trenches. I was a running back/linebacker in my youth and a cornerback in reality in high school.

Here’s what I know about the offensive line: Mathew Faupusa, Darius Archie and Logan Floyd were my picks last year and are my picks again this year.

I would expect Harwood to utilize the free year of eligibility and 4 game redshirt as he is the future. But if Chad Bagwell is healthy, I think this is his position to lose.

The real battle is at the LT spot. we have a few options to work through like, Carnahan, Transfer Straly and some younger guys like Abe Christensen, Eldride and Guzik.

Petrino spoke highly of Jory Dotts as being a mean son of a gun. I expect him to get reps with the free eligibility.

The 3-4 Defense

DL

Rinse and repeat from the spring. Rufai, Crawford and Kim should be the guys. But we will have a rotation here utilizing guys like Nate Degraw and Noah Elliss.

Malakai will be interesting to watch as well.

LB

Lets address the ELLISS in the room…. Okay, bad pun. That is the only bad thing about this section. Look losing Christina Elliss to the NFL is obviously a loss. But it is no secret, JUNIOR Tre “8 ball” Walker is larger than life right now. Tre Walkers accolades read:

2019 HERO Sports All-American Sophomore, 2nd Team All Big Sky

2020 Spring: 4 (Hero, STATS, AP, Phil Steele) 1st All-American honors, AFCS 2nd team All-American, 10th in Buck Buchanan award, 1st team All-Big Sky

2021 preseason: Big Sky defensive player of the year, Hero Sports Top Linebacker in country, Buck Buchanan watchlist, multiple 1st team All-American honors.

Starting the 5th paragraph, Tre Walker has been in all five. However, he is not alone. remind Christian Elliss struggled with injury a bit last year. Which allowed guys like Sully Shannon, Derek Tommasini, Hogan Hatten to really get a run. In fact the latter is where I’m the most worried to have left off the 2-deep. Hatten played in all 6 games last year. This group should really be a 3 deep.

Leo Tamba will “back-up” Tre, But in his time her, Leo has played in 88.88% of the games. He is slept on by even die hard vandals.

Tanner Brooks will be a Redshirt Freshman this season. When he showed up in 2019, Tanner was 6-4 224lbs. He is now 274lb. Want a name poised to explode off the page? #14 Tanner Brooks will have an impact shortly. Maybe I jumped the gun putting him in 2-deep over Hatten this season, But Christ all-might, he pops off depth chart at you.

Fa’avae Fa’avae may have “under preformed” by expectations i put on him last season. That said joining a program in middle of pandemic, playing in all six games and having a Root Sports player of the week game with 18 tackles vs SUU. I feel safe to say he was still highly productive and will take another step forward.

Akanno spent most of the spring trying to shake the rust from 2019 season. He showed flashes of his old self. We know that old self, is a potential All-American.

Look coach Petrino love Tommasini. I truly think that is the guy that will step into that lineup. But guys like Shannon, Hatten and Coleman will probably get looks.

The Back End

We got athletes. Safety vs Corner is a feeling for me.

Yes, we had a terrible secondary last season. Some of that is talent, some of this is the Big Sky conference is an air-out league.

Though we were bad Im still giving the incumbents their jobs back to start camp. Hoover and Dedmon are leaders in the locker room.

This could be my bias. I want Zamajay to be the savior of this secondary. I want another Keo. I am a Seahawks fan. Nothing is more fun than a lights out secondary. Zamajay Duncan is one of our highest recruits ever! I tampered my expectations and put him in the nickle spot for year uno.

Transfer are key to turn this group around short term. We brought in Jeremiah Salaam from Kent State. And yes Kent State might lose to half the Big Sky, why do you think he bounced? He played in 21 games in two season and we need experience. Also, balls.

Another transfer KJ Jarrel looks positioned to win the SS spot. The Sun Devil transfer has a very high ceiling and seems to be quick to the ball. One of those athletes I mentioned at the top, athlete, could easily play corner as well.

Parker and Jones could also make some noise.

*** As always I”m not an journalist so, take your gramatical error comments, & put them in a beg some-Where. Hope you enjoyed the content regarless if you maid it too dis disclaimer 

😉

Tubs Preseason Big Sky Poll

We submitted three polls to the conference office. Here is how the three of us voted and why.

Chris
Brian
Dallas
1Weber StateMontanaWeber State
2EWUMontana StateEWU
3MontanaWeber StateMontana
4UC DavisEWUSac State
5Montana StateSac StateMontana State
6NAUUC DavisUC Davis
7Idaho StateIdahoIdaho State
8IdahoIdaho StateNAU
9SUUUNCIdaho
10Sac StateSUUSUU
11Cal PolyPortland StatePortland State
12UNCNAUUNC
13Portland StateCal PolyCal Poly

For those of you that read our Preseason All-Conference Team post you can see our picks for All-Conference lead to our opinions on our polls.

Further Explanations

Chris:

  • Weber State at 1 – The Wildcats return possibly the best Secondary in the FCS. Three members of the secondary made our All-Tubs Team. Bronson Barron (technically a true freshman still) had barely been on campus and had to compete for starting job last season. That is not the case this fall, he will be receiving all the reps. Pair that with former Jerry Rice Award winner Josh Davis and an emerging stable of backs returning. The Achilles heel of this program, the offense, has to take a step forward. Even if the offense doesn’t improve, they have still won four straight Big Sky titles. Why would I bet against them?

  • Montana at 3 – Look even with some “?” still at QB. This team returns a lot of talent. How bad could it be when you get to throw to Maybe the best WR in the FCS, Sammy Akem. If the QB works out, they could easily win the conference. But right now with Weber returning Bronson & Eastern returning EB3, I gave them the SMALL nod over the Griz. Its going to be a close race this year.

  • Sacramento State at 10 – I understand I’m sticking my neck out with this one. I just think the 2019 season was a flash in the pan. I expect this team to be closer to their 42-28 home playoff loss to start the playoffs, more then the 49-22 win vs the Griz. The Hornets in my opinion benefited greatly from being a sleeper until about half way through the 2019 season, an out of nowhere QB (who has since transferred out) and no one having tape on first time head ball coach Troy Taylor. I expect them to struggle early and maybe make a charge late. Are they the 10th best team in conference probably not, probably a bit better. But weeks 1 thru 6 I expect them to play below where most people have them. Most throw out the easy schedule this year as a reason to have them high. I think the easy schedule will catch them sleep walking with rust early. Though lighting can strike the same spot twice…

Brian:

  • Weber State at 3 – Defending Big Sky champion Weber State (finally) looks vulnerable. The Wildcats won a single spring game by a margin greater than a touchdown–with all of those nail biters coming against teams that will be picked in the bottom half of this fall’s season–but Weber’s schedule, and Jay Hill’s tendency to just never lose games he shouldn’t, makes a 6-2 (in conference) floor all but locked in.

  • Idaho at 7 – This vote was a strict judgement of talent–which should put Idaho not in the top tier of the conference, but close enough to talk yourself into yet another but maybe this year discussion.

    Which is lunacy.

    We all know the Idaho blueprint from the previous three years: stay competitive at home, but faceplant on the road. Hang with, or knock off a playoff-level team, then stumble in comical fashion against the Northern Colorados, or Northern Arizonas occupying league’s bottom tier. Never mind that Idaho has its toughest league schedule since rejoining the Big Sky. 

    So yes: in my written-in-blood preseason poll, Idaho sits at number seven. And yes: the moment my poll was officially sent, I could not believe their slot was higher than ten.

  • Northern Colorado at 9 – Consider Northern Colorado a composite character of Idaho, Idaho State, Southern Utah, and Northern Arizona: it’s an absolute crap shoot rating any of those teams above each other. Before the Bears land higher than ninth, we’ll need to see the fruits of Coach McCaffrey produce. The talent influx following McCaffrey alone will make Northern Colorado at least good enough to spoil someone else’s playoff hopes, but with the promising spring efforts from other projected lower-tier teams, there’s too crowded a field of candidates to repeat the out-of-nowhere rises of UC Davis and Sacramento State to rate Northern Colorado much higher.   

Dallas:

  • Eastern Washington at 2 – Eric Barriere is one of the best players in the entire FCS, and when you have a quarterback like him running the show, you’re going to have at least a puncher’s chance in every game. Yes, their questionable defense allowed 35 straight points in the first round of the spring playoffs to a weakened North Dakota State. Yes, the receivers drop more passes than they should. Yes, they have an extremely tough conference schedule this year. But, their three toughest games (Montana, Montana State, Weber State) are all in Cheney this year and I’d expect they win two of the three to keep themselves just behind Weber in the conference standings. Even in their last true down year (2015, when Vernon Adams transferred to play his final year at Oregon), they tied for fourth in conference, going 5-3 with two losses to ranked teams.

  • UC Davis at 6 – UC Davis has a deep cast of receivers, a solid defense (as Vandal fans likely remember), and one of the best running backs in the conference. QB Hunter Rodrigues had 21 FCS passes to his name coming into 2021 and may have benefited more from the spring season than any other athlete. So why do I have them sixth? Weber State, Eastern Washington, and the Montana schools certainly look better on paper and should all slot in as top five finishers, even if they trade losses around. I don’t see the Aggies beating Weber State (and yes, I know they had a double digit lead on the Wildcats last season) or Eastern Washington. Even if they beat Sacramento State in the Causeway Classic to finish the year, I don’t think a game in hand on the Hornets helps, courtesy of the absolute gift of a schedule Sacramento State got this year. Nothing against UC Davis, but a top five finish doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

  • Idaho at 9 – Every year it seems I talk myself into Idaho finally becoming a bully in the Big Sky. Take one look at the schedule and you’ll realize why I’m not doing that this year. The Vandals could be favored in three of their four home conference games, but even if they won out at home with an upset of Montana, they will not be favored in a single road game this season. I don’t think they win a single game outside of Moscow this year, even without Paul Petrino’s track record of failure away from the Kibbie Dome. There’s plenty of talent on this team, just like there was in the spring, but I don’t see any reason to believe that it magically clicks this season. 4-4 in conference is the ceiling for this team if things go well, and 2-6 is certainly on the table. We’re looking at another long year.

What To Know About NFL Draft Prospect Christian Elliss

If you are reading this you are probably a fan of the lucky team that drafted Christian Elliss in the 2021 NFL draft.

Football Runs In the Family:

Christian Elliss is the son of Luther Elliss. Luther Elliss was an 2x Pro Bowler at the DT position over his 10 year NFL Career, with Denver and Detroit. Luther is currently the defensive line coach for the Idaho Vandals.

Christian is the younger brother of Kaden Elliss. Kaden Elliss was the 7th round pick of New Orleans Saints in 2019 draft. Kaden had his rookie season cut short suffering a knee injury early in the season against Seattle Seahawks. Kaden was able to bounce back, playing in 15 games in 2020 for the saints.

His younger brother Jonah Elliss just committed to the University of Utah over the likes of Louisville, Washington State, Boise State and others as he was the #1 recruit in the state of Idaho.

His adopted brother (cousin) Noah Elliss was a top recruit in 2017 as well out of the state of Colorado. Noah ended up committing to Mississippi State. With offers to basically every power five program. He is now a standout on Luther Elliss’s defensive line at Idaho.

Christian Elliss has been a elite sparkplug on a top rush FCS defense over the past few seasons. He also was able to preform at a high level as a true freshman in the Sun Belt Conference. He is an unquestioned leader on the team. Christian has also been remarkably healthy. Missing only one game in four years. That one game was his last one and it was to prepare for the draft (2 weeks from game date). He has made some mistakes,has been able to show growth and maturity as his career moved on. Christian posseses a unique combo of speed and ferocity. He is a game wrecker, one of those guys whose impact rarely is reflected on the stat sheet. He passes the eye test and it will take a smart GM and scout to recognize that and give him a chance. So congrats on your team having that combo.

Pro Day Numbers:

Disclaimer to know. The Idaho Vandals are in the FCS so they played this Spring. Christian Ellis put these numbers up two days after a game, with no real recovery time.

40 yard dash: 4.57 (Good for 6th at Combine)

Vertical: 35.5″ (Good for 10th at Combine)

Broad Jump: 10′ (Good for 15th at Combine)

Bench: 22 (Good for T-12th at Combine)

3-Cone: 6.94 (Good for 28th at Combine)

20 Yard Shuttle: 6.94

Accolades:

4 year starter (No Redshirt)

2018

All-Big Sky 3rd team

Team leader in tackles

2019

All-Big Sky 1st team

Phil Steele preseason 2nd team All-Big Sky

Team leader in sacks

2nd on team in tackles for loss and total tackles

2020

STATS FCS preseason All-American 2nd team

College Sports Journal preseason All-American 1st team

Hero Sports preseason All-Big Sky 1st team

All-Big Sky 1st team

*All-American Votes have yet to be cast

Christian Elliss Sack 2x Walter Payton Finalist Eric Barriere

Stats:

SeasonGPSOLOASTTOTTFL-YDSSACKS-YDSINTPDFFFRBLK
2017121714312-70-012100
2018114536814-70-000101
201911495510412.5-524.5-3613010
2020-2152525502.5-80-003000
Total3913613026621.0-744.5-3628211

Intangibles:

Height 6-3

Weight 233lbs

Hand 9.5″

Arm 31.75″

Wingspan: 75.5″

Draft Projection:

Lowest round: 5

Highest round: Undrafted

Christian has yet to hire a sports agent. Meaning if he goes undrafted he can return with year of free eligibility in the fall.

Idaho had six players on NFL Rosters last year.