Ex-USC safety: God told me to set blaze

Former USC recruit Kevin Ellison is in legal trouble after setting off a blaze in his apartment and telling authorities that God told him to do it.

Arena league football player Kevin Ellison says he started a fire in his apartment with a marijuana blunt and because God told him to, according to a report.

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The blaze was discovered about 5:30 a.m. Thursday in the Spokane, Wash., suburb of Liberty Lake, the Spokesman-Review (Spokane) reported. The building was evacuated and the fire extinguished.

According to court documents, Ellison was at a hospital when he told authorities he started the fire "because God had told him to set the bed on fire," the report said.

Ellison faces a federal arson charge as a result of the incident, the report said.

No one else was hurt in the blaze.

Ellison was once a top recruit with a three-star rating from Scout.com. He played safety and linebacker for USC and was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers released him after an arrest in 2010 in conjunction with a controlled-substance charge. That charge was dropped and Ellison briefly latched on with the Seattle Seahawks but was released before the season began.

Ellison now plays for the Spokane Shock in the arena league. Shock majority Nelson described Ellison has a "model player," the report said, but also expressed concern over the incident.

"I think the investigation needs to play out, but if he truly did this he's never coming back," Nelson said, according to the Spokesman-Review.

A hearing is scheduled for June 19, the report said.

Read the full report here.

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