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Sc’s Ellis to stay in Happy Valley; commits to PSU

By Lynn Herman

From Little Lion to Nittany Lion, State High football standout, Keaton Ellis, is staying local. Keaton finished high school classes on December 21 with a grade point average of about 3.64 and started Penn State collegiate courses on January 5 where business may be his major field of study.

Just a day before his last final senior class work, the State High athletics department hosted a college announcement celebration at the new high school in Keaton’s honor. Flanked by his parents, Bruce and Debra Ellis, and State High football coach, Matt Lintal, Keaton was the center of attention as he, family and Coach Lintal fielded questions from the media.

After being introduced by Athletic Director, Chris Weakland, Coach Lintal, praised Keaton’s athletic achievements and scholastics at State High as well as his involvement with the State College community. Lintal said all of Keaton’s attributes is what makes him special. “Keaton is the most athletically gifted athlete that I’ve ever had the honor of coaching. He has a star character and a star heart,” stressed Lintal.

Even though he was a star athlete on the offensive side of the ball, it is expected that Keaton will pursue his athleticism as cornerback for the Nittany Lions in 2019. Listed as 5-11 and 177 pounds, Keaton made four interceptions, nine pass deflections and 51 tackles this past football season for the Little Lions.

Penn State was one of the first teams to take notice of Keaton’s athletic abilities and offered him a scholarship in 2017. He committed on September 9. Keaton was the first commit of the 2019 Penn State football class and the first to send in his letter of intent.

His father Bruce said that other college football programs looked at Keaton. “We were going to visit Notre Dame the day before Penn State offered the scholarship. We cancelled those travel plans and accepted Penn State’s offer.” When asked how a proud father felt at the time, Mr. Ellis said “It feels good because he has earned it with his play and being a good student. It also takes the pressure off the family in dealing with the costs of an education.”

“We are very supportive of our athletics and allowing Keaton to be the best he can be.” echoed Mrs. Ellis.

For the future Nittany Lion student athlete being a Penn State football freshman, Keaton stated, “I’m really excited by it.” Keaton follows other State High football players to play for the Nittany Lions; Matt Suhey, Larry and brother Tony Johnson, Jordan Norwood, and Alex Kenney are other local notables.

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