Rhett Ellison

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Rhett Ellison
Rhett Ellison.JPG
Ellison in the 2015 NFL season
No. 85 Minnesota Vikings
Position: Tight end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1988-10-03) October 3, 1988 (age 27)
Place of birth: Portola Valley, California
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school: Mountain View (CA) Saint Francis
College: USC
NFL draft: 2012 / Round: 4 / Pick: 128
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • PFF All-Rookie Team (2012)
  • First-team All-Pac-12 (2011)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 10, 2015
Receptions: 37
Receiving yards: 377
Touchdowns: 3
Stats at NFL.com

Rhett Marshall Ellison (born October 3, 1988) is an American football tight end and fullback for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at USC, where he played both fullback and tight end. He was drafted by the Vikings in the fourth round, 128th overall of the 2012 NFL Draft.

High school career[edit]

Ellison played high school football at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California. As a junior in 2005, he made 27 tackles and 4 sacks, plus caught 26 passes for 301 yards (11.6 avg.) with 5 touchdowns. As a senior, he had 49 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 interception on defense and 31 receptions for 394 yards (12.7 avg.) with 2 touchdowns on offense. His 2006 season honors included 2006 Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best of the Rest, San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro honorable mention and San Jose Mercury News All-Area first team playing linebacker and tight end.[1]

Both major recruiting rating agencies of the time, Rivals.com and Scout.com, rated Ellison as a three star (out of five) recruit and in the top 20 among other tight ends in his class.[2][3] He was recruited by several BCS conference programs and, beside USC, received athletic scholarship offers from Arizona State, Cal, Oregon and Virginia Tech. He committed to USC on February 6, 2007, the day before National Signing Day, a part of a recruiting class that ranked in the top two in the country in 2007.[2][4][5]

College career[edit]

Ellison redshirted the 2007 season, his freshman year with the Trojans.

As a redshirt freshman in 2008, Ellison served as an often-used backup tight end. Overall for the season, while appearing in 9 games (all but Oregon, Arizona State, Washington State and Arizona), he had 4 receptions for 58 yards (14.5 avg.) and a tackle. He started the UCLA and Penn State games at fullback and split time between there and tight end in those games. He broke his right foot prior to the Oregon game and missed those next 4 contests while recuperating.

In 2009, Ellison appeared in all 13 games, serving as the often-used backup tight end while also making plays on special teams as a sophomore. For the season, he had 6 catches for 41 yards (6.8 avg.) with 1 touchdown, plus made 4 tackles.

As a junior in 2010, Ellison started all season at tight end, hauling in 21 catches for 239 yards (11.4 avg.) with 3 touchdowns, and also made 3 tackles. He made 2010 All-Pac-12 honorable mention.

The steady Ellison, equally proficient as a blocker and pass catcher, started at tight end for his second season as a senior in 2011, but also saw time at fullback. Ellison was Captain of the Trojans in 2011 and an award was created to honor his leadership and determination, called the Rhett Ellison "Machine" Trojan Way Leadership Award.

Professional career[edit]


Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 5 in 251 lb 4.69 s 1.63 s 2.77 s 4.39 s 7.16 s 32.5 in 9 ft 3 in
All values from NFL Combine and Pro Day[6]

Ellison was invited to the 2012 NFL Combine as a fullback.

Minnesota Vikings[edit]

Ellison was taken in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, 128th pick overall, by the Minnesota Vikings. He was not expecting to be drafted, and as such was on a river excursion and not watching the draft when the Vikings called him to let him know he was about to be selected; the surprise was such that he cried in joy.[7] Trojan teammate and 4th pick overall Matt Kalil was also selected by the Vikings in the first round. He is the second player of Maori heritage to play for the Vikings since David Dixon.

On November 24, 2013, Ellison scored his first career touchdown catch against the Green Bay Packers.

Personal life[edit]

Ellison is of Māori descent. He is the son of three-time Super bowl winner Riki Ellison, a former USC and NFL linebacker.[7] He is also of Ngāi Tahu descent and is the grandnephew of the first captain of the All Blacks, Thomas Ellison, who led New Zealand on their first tour to Australia in 1893. He is also related to current New Zealand rugby union players Jacob Ellison and Tamati Ellison.[8][9] Ellison completed a bachelor's degree in international relations from USC and a master's degree in communication management. He is engaged to Raina Hein.[10]


  1. ^ http://www.usctrojans.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/ellison_rhett00.html
  2. ^ a b Recruiting Profile: RHETT ELLISON, Rivals.com, accessed April 30, 2012.
  3. ^ Rhett Ellison, Scout.com, accessed April 30, 2012.
  4. ^ McKnight pushes USC to the top, Scout.com/ESPN.com, March 7, 2007, Accessed May 30, 2008.
  5. ^ 2007 Team Ranking, Rivals.com, February 12, 2007, Accessed May 30, 2008.
  6. ^ http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=69767&draftyear=2012&genpos=TE
  7. ^ a b Gary Klein, USC football: Rhett Ellison happy to join Vikings, Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2012, accessed April 30, 2012.
  8. ^ Kiwi Ellison drafted by Minnesota Vikings New Zealand Herald, 4 May 2012
  9. ^ St Andrew's old boy Ellison picked in NFL Draft stuff.co.nz, 4 May 2012
  10. ^ "Chip Scoggins: Vikings rookie Rhett Ellison has his own beat". Retrieved October 3, 2014. 

External links[edit]