Three Idaho Vandals Earn First Team All-Big Sky Football
Kaden Ellis No.3
The Idaho Vandals placed three players on the All-Big Sky Conference first team with a total of seven Vandals receiving Big Sky honors.
The Vandals were led by first-team honorees Cade Coffey, Kaden Elliss and Noah Johnson. The All-Big Sky teams were voted on by the conference’s 13 head coaches.
D.J. Henderson was selected to the second team. Christian Elliss, Isaiah Saunders and David Ungerer landed on the All-Big Sky Third Team. Ungerer also earned honorable mention recognition as a return specialist.
Kaden Elliss was honored at outside linebacker. Elliss led the Vandals with 16 tackles for loss and a career-high seven sacks. He ranked second and third in the Big Sky in those categories, respectively. The senior finished the season with 60 tackles, three pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Elliss wrapped up his Vandal career with 289 tackles (13th all-time) and 47 tackles for loss (fifth all-time). He was a second-team All-Sun Belt selection as a junior and honorable mention pick as a sophomore.
Johnson once again anchored Idaho’s offensive line from the strong guard position. The junior was the highest-graded lineman on a unit that helped Saunders to a career year. Johnson was a second-team All-Sun Belt selection in 2017 and was named to the Sun Belt All-Newcomer Team as a freshmen in 2016.
Coffey averaged 44.1 yards per punt to rank fifth in the FCS and help Idaho net 40 yards per punt, the best mark in the Big Sky and second best in the country. The sophomore booted 19 kicks of at least 50 yards, including a career-long 80-yard punt against Southern Utah that is tied for the second-longest punt of the year, nationally. This is the second all-conference award for Coffey, who was named to the All-Sun Belt Second Team last season, as well as being honored as the punter on the USA Today Freshman All-America Team.
Idaho and Weber State are the only schools to land multiple underclassmen on the first team.
Henderson was Idaho’s lone second-team all-conference representative after accumulating seven tackles for loss and two sacks among his 24 total tackles. The senior played all along the Vandal defensive line this season, earning the all-league nod at tackle.
Christian Elliss took over as Idaho’s starting middle linebacker as a sophomore this year, after spending his freshman season as a backup outside linebacker. Elliss led the Vandals with 81 tackles, averaging 7.4 per game. He registered double-digit tackles in three games. Elliss also had four tackles for loss and blocked a kick.
Saunders shouldered the load of Idaho’s ground game. The senior running back was one of three Big Sky running backs to carry the ball at least 200 times, rushing for a career-high 911 yards. He found the end zone six times. Saunders also hauled in 13 receptions for 55 yards. This is the first all-conference honor of his career.
Ungerer led the Vandals with 69 receptions and 697 receiving yards, ranking second in the Big Sky with 6.3 receptions per game. The senior was also Idaho’s top kick returner and averaged 100.2 all-purpose yards per game. Ungerer’s 14.1 yards per punt return were good for second in the conference and seventh nationally. He returned one punt for a touchdown, one of just three Big Sky players to do so this season.
For a full list of the All-Big Sky teams and individual award winners, CLICK HERE.