Former NFL star Elliss molding Vandals’ defensive line

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MOSCOW — The Vandal football team had another solid day inside the Kibbie Dome at the midway point of the second week of fall camp. The team will have one more practice on Thursday before scrimmaging for the first time on Saturday at 10 a.m.

The defensive line has been improving each day of camp under the direction of first year position coach Luther Elliss. Elliss, hired on in the spring, brings 12 years of NFL playing experience to the staff. He immediately came in and transitioned the technique of the defensive front.

“The technique was a little different before,” Elliss noted. “I came in and changed it a little bit. I feel like that is going to help us play better up front against the run and transitioning to the pass. One of our goals this year is to be technicians and to be relentless. Those are two things that we are really focusing on right now.”

The D-line as a unit has welcomed the changes that Elliss has implemented, noting the opportunity they have to learn from someone with Coach Elliss’ resume.

“Coach Elliss is a really powerful guy,” Zach Cable explained. “He is soft spoken but very powerful. Honestly, he has empowered all of us to become better players as well as better men. When you have someone in your meeting room like that, who has been there as a first-round pick by the Lions, he has been through the grind. It is good to hear from him.”

Idaho has strong depth at the position, entering the new season. Senior Aikeem Coleman, last season’s Newcomer of the Year and a 2017 Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team selection, figures to wreak havoc on opposing offenses. Fellow seniors Cable and Arie Anderson will also be key in defending the line of scrimmage. Junior college transfer D.J. Henderson has also been able to impress the coaches this fall.

“When you have four guys out there we are able to rotate,” Cable explained. “All four of us can spin. It just gives us the ability to get your breath and get back in and keep up the pass rush.”

“Our guys are going to go hard,” Elliss added. “Give me three or four hard plays, get a breather, go back for three or four more plays. I do not care who you are. You could be Superman or a super hero. You are not going to play every down and expect to give 100 percent.”

Saturday will be the first chance to see the team go head-to-head. The morning scrimmage is open to the public.

For more information on Idaho Athletics, visit GoVandals.com.

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