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Prairie View A&M's Ellis could be in on more plays
Prairie View A&M cornerback Moses Ellis might have to get used to spending more time on the field this season.
Ellis, a senior, is one of the prime candidates to handle punt return duties for the Panthers and has an outside chance of seeing action at wide receiver. He could get his first stab at the punt return job when Prairie View opens its 2011 campaign against Bethune-Cookman during Sunday’s MEAC/SWAC Challenge at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
The 5-9, 175-pound Ellis excelled in his primary role last season, leading the Football Championship Subdivision in interceptions (eight) and passes defended (22) en route to being named an All-American. He also tied for the Southwestern Athletic Conference lead in passes broken up with 14.
Ellis, the preseason SWAC Defensive Player of the Year, would have more pressure on his plate as a punt returner, but he’s more than willing to take on the extra responsibility.
“In high school, I never came off the field,” said Ellis, who grew up in Fort Worth. “I actually liked punt returning, and I have a good feel back there for it. I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to (return punts), and I’m glad coach (Heishma Northern) finally put me back there. I’m definitely going to show what I can do.”
Ellis might also have a chance to show what he can do on offense.
Northern said the coaching staff would consider using Ellis at receiver in certain situations. Ellis, who played both cornerback and receiver at Everman High School, saw limited action on offense during the April 15 Purple and Gold spring game. He recorded an interception and a touchdown reception in that game.
Northern, a former defensive coordinator, said he could see Ellis functioning well as a two-way player.
“If Charles Woodson can play both ways at Michigan, Moses Ellis can play both ways at Prairie View,” Northern said.
By RONNIE TURNER, The Houston Chronicle