Ellis will be making his first career appearance in the annual all-star classic. This season, the 6-5, 294-pound left defensive end has enjoyed his finest pro campaign to date with a career-high 11.5 sacks (second most in the AFC) for -49 yards, along with a career-high 97 tackles and a forced fumble. He was selected in the first round of the 2000 Draft by the Jets out of the University of Tennessee with the 12th selection overall.
"It feels great," said Ellis. "I couldn't have done it without God. He blessed me with a great focus coming into this season. I've had a good work ethic all year and it's just a great feeling right now."
With his Pro Bowl nomination, Ellis became the seventh Jets defensive lineman to earn all-star recognition, joining DE Verlon Biggs (1966-'68), DT John Elliott (1968-'70), DE Gerry Philbin (1968-69), DE Mark Gastineau (1981-'85), DT-DE Joe Klecko (1981, '83-'85) and DE John Abraham (2001-'02).
Mawae will be making his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl appearance. The 6-4, 289-pound Louisiana State product is the first Jets player to go to five straight Pro Bowls since Gastineau (1981-'85). He is the first Jets offensive player to go to five straight Pro Bowls. Mawae signed with the Jets as an unrestricted free agent in 1998 after spending the first four years of his career with the Seattle Seahawks. "Everyone dreams about going to the Pro Bowl," Mawae said. "It's everyone's goal when they come into the league. This first time is great, but being selected year after year is an even bigger accomplishment. It's a question of maintaining focus and determination as the years go on."
Mawae, who is of Hawaiian heritage and still has many relatives living on the Hawaiian Islands, is the first center in New York Jets history to be elected to five straight Pro Bowls.