2008: The solid, steady Ellison will start for his third season at strong safety and could be in line for All-American and Thorpe Award honors as a senior in 2008. He is on the "Watch List" for the 2008 Bronko Nagurski Award.
2007: Ellison started for his second season at strong safety as a junior in 2007. Overall in 2007 while appearing in all 13 games, he had 57 tackles, including 8 for losses of 27 yards (with 2 sacks for minus 15 yards), plus 2 interceptions that he returned 9 yards (4.5 avg.), 6 deflections and 2 forced fumbles. He made the 2007 All-Pac-10 first team, ESPN.com All-Pac-10 first team and Phil Steele's All-Pac-10 second team. He won USC's Bob Chandler Award and Co-Lifter of the Year Award.
He had 3 tackles and a deflection against Idaho, 3 tackles (1 for a loss) and a deflection at Nebraska, 3 tackles and a forced fumble against Washington State, 2 stops at Washington and 5 tackles against Stanford. He had a team-high 9 tackles against Arizona, 5 tackles (including 1.5 for a loss), an interception and 2 deflections at Notre Dame, 5 tackles (2 for a loss) at Oregon and 2 sacks among his 4 tackles against Oregon State. He added 8 tackles and had an interception that set up a USC field goal at California, 3 tackles and a deflection at Arizona State and 4 tackles versus UCLA. He had 3 tackles (1.5 for a loss) against Illinois. He had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee prior to 2007 spring practice.
2006: Ellison started all of his 2006 sophomore season at strong safety and did a sound job. Overall in 2006 while appearing in all 13 games, he had 64 tackles, including 6 for losses of 21 yards (with 1.5 sacks for minus 7 yards), plus an interception, 5 deflections and a forced fumble. He made 2006 Collegefootballnews.com Sophomore All-American second team and All-Pac-10 honorable mention. He won USC's Jack Oakie "Rise and Shine" Award (biggest hit). He had 2 tackles and a deflection against Arkansas, Nebraska and Arizona. He then had 7 tackles (0.5 for a loss) at Washington State, 9 tackles against Washington and 4 tackles, including 1.5 sacks, versus Arizona State. He added 6 tackles (1 for a loss) and a deflection at Oregon State and another 6 tackles with an interception at Stanford. He had 7 stops (1 for a loss) and a forced fumble against Oregon, a team-best 7 tackles with a deflection against California, 5 tackles (1 for a loss) against Notre Dame, 6 tackles (1 for a loss) at UCLA and 1 stop against Michigan.
2005: Ellison, who graduated a semester early from high school and enrolled at USC in the spring of 2005, was headed to an impressive season as a backup strong safety and key special teams player as a first-year freshman in 2005, appearing often in extra defensive back situations. But he tore ligaments and got a fracture in his left knee while making a crucial interception late in the Arizona State game and had surgery, sidelining him the rest of the season. Overall while appearing in USC's first 4 games of 2005, he made 6 tackles, the interception and a forced fumble. He had 3 tackles at Arizona State, 2 versus Arkansas (with a forced fumble) and 1 at Hawaii. He made the 2005 The Sporting News Pac-10 All-Freshman first team.
HIGH SCHOOL: He was a 2004 Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Tom Lemming All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best of the Rest, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Division III, Los Angeles Times All-South Bay/Westside Player of the Year, South Bay Daily Breeze All-Area Player of the Year and All-Bay League MVP as a senior running back and linebacker at Redondo Union High in Redondo Beach (Calif.). He ran for 1,661 yards on 230 carries (7.2 avg.) with 32 TDs and had 25 receptions for 414 yards (16.6 avg.) with 5 TDs on offense and 115 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions (1 for a TD) in 2004. In one game, he ran for a school-record 322 yards on 18 carries (17.9 avg.).
As a junior in 2003, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass second team, All-CIF Division IV, South Bay Daily Breeze All-Area first team and All-Ocean League Co-MVP. He had 1,402 yards on 222 carries (6.3 avg.) with 15 TDs and 15 receptions for 161 yards (10.7 avg.) with 1 TD, plus 101 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions (1 for a TD) and 1 fumble recovery in 2003.
He was a 2002 South Bay Daily Breeze All-Area and All-Ocean League Co-Defensive MVP selection as a 2002 sophomore. In his career, he rushed for a school-record 3,718 yards on 578 carries (6.4 avg.) and had 297 tackles.
PERSONAL: He's a social science economics major at USC. His brother, Chris, was a defensive back at BYU in 1997 and 1998, while another brother, Keith, was a linebacker at Oregon State in 2004 and 2005 (he also played at San Diego State in 2002) who now plays with the NFL's Buffalo Bills. His cousin, Donminic Ellison, played basketball at Washington State and New Mexico State.
KEVIN ELLISON ON: Coming back from his 2005 knee injury: "It was a hard process coming back, the rehab and trying to get my body right. It was a challenge. But I was ready for it. I got my mind right."
His brother, Chris: "It has definitely helped me watching him. He showed me the way. He set an example."
WHAT OTHERS SAY: USC head coach Pete Carroll: "We feel confident in him because he's applied himself at every single turn since he got here. He's mature, he's smart, he's got his priorities straight, he's a hard worker, he's tough. It's in his nature and it's why he was positioned to graduate early from high school. It's the kind of person he isHe's a prime example of a guy who's such a high achiever. He took advantage of every opportunity to position himself where he wants to go."