Kevin Ellison, a star for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll when both were at USC and briefly a member of the Seahawks in 2010, was arrested Thursday in Spokane on federal arson charges after he reportedly old investigators he set his bed ablaze with a marijuana-filled cigar because “God” told him to.
Ellison, a linebacker for the Spokane Shock of the Arena Football League, confessed to starting a fire that consumed his apartment in Liberty Lake, a Spokane suburb.
After telling investigators initially that he was smoking in bed, he later admitted “that he just wanted to get out of it and for it all to go away,” according to The Spokane Spokesman-Review newspaper, which cited federal court documents.
Shock owner Brady Nelson said Ellison, 25, had begun behaving oddly, according to KXLY-TV in Spokane. He said Ellison sent text messages to some people in which he claimed to be Jesus and was part of the Second Coming.
Ellison was among the nation’s top defensive backs before tearing knee cartilage halfway through his senior year at USC. He was a sixth-round draft pick in 2009 by the San Diego Chargers, playing in 13 games and starting nine during his rookie season. While with San Diego, authorities arrested Ellison for suspected possession of a controlled substance. They reportedly found more than 100 Vicodin pills in his vehicle.
The Seahawks claimed him off waivers in 2010. But he reportedly failed his physical and was released.