No. 96 – Chris Ellison – Defensive Back – 1996, 1998
Chris Ellison was second on the team for BYU during the special 1996 season with 93 tackles. Ellison came as Junior College transfer from El Camino College in California. It has been tough for BYU Football through the years to get transfers but Ellison was one of the few exceptions.
In 1997 Ellison was given a medical redshirt after an injury on the third play of the first game of the season against Washington when a player slammed into his knee immediately taking him out for the season. Because of the redshirt, Ellison was able to come back in 1998 and contribute to the defense, however his stats dropped off a bit, but not to the point of falling off of this list.
Ellison was only at BYU for two seasons giving him a limited time to be an impact player, but while with the Cougars, he definitely did make an impact. A lot like some of the other players on this list, Ellison came in when needed most. Of the four turnovers forced by Ellison in the 1996 season, three of them came in games that ended up being a one score game including against No. 12 Texas A&M, Wyoming in the WAC Championship and No. 14 Kansas State in the bowl game.
Again with only two seasons to go off of, statistics are tough to rank completely. What we have though is three interceptions, three forced fumbles, eight passes broken up and 179 tackles. His best games defensively include a game against TCU where he recorded 11 tackles, a game against UTEP with 10 tackles and a pick six, and 13 tackles against Washington in a redemption game for him in his senior season.
Memorable Moments C-
As mentioned before, Ellison came in clutch when the Cougars needed him to. Getting turnovers in a season opener against a ranked team, a conference championship game and a bowl game against another ranked team are automatically memorable moments. What hurts his cause is he wasn’t a pass rusher which takes away the big sacks that fans like to remember. He was just a solid defensive back who did his job and helped BYU go 14-1 in 1996 and 8-4 in 1998.
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If you missed our first four players or our honorable mentions be sure to check them out below!