State High Graduate Keaton Ellis Given the “Green Light” from Coach Franklin


Freshman Keaton Ellis in the Blue and White Game of Spring 2019

Eli Stamm

State College’s Keaton Ellis is already making a huge impact on the PSU football team as a freshman. Ellis enrolled at Penn State in January, after graduating early from State High Area High School.

Coach James Franklin announced Ellis first on the list of seven freshmen that were given the “green light” this year, meaning they will be seeing immediate playing time. The 5-11, 190 pound cornerback is expected to be a valuable team player this year, according to Coach Franklin.

“He’s long, he’s fast, he’s quick, he’s athletic, he’s put on some good size,” Franklin said, describing Ellis. “He looks like he’s got a Big Ten body now.”

After his years playing on his high school football team, Ellis was listed as the backup to fifth-year senior John Reid, who is currently listed as starting cornerback and nickelback. By the looks of things on Ellis’ end, he could very well slide into a role under the nickelback position.

Keaton Ellis was a three-year letterman for head coach Matt Lintal at State College Area High School. The team captain really proved himself all three years as he led the Little Lions to a quarterfinal spot in the 2018 PIAA Class 6A State Tournament.

His senior year, Keaton’s high school team ended with a 12-2 record and a 6-1 mark in conference play. Ellis was selected as finalist for 2018 Mr. PA Football Big School (Classes 4A-6A) Award.

His performance at Penn State so far has come of no surprise based on his history at State High. Even team captain John Reid speaks very highly of Ellis, “He understands his job on every play. He understands where he’s supposed to be at in the defense, which I think is very important, and he’s kind of shown that since spring ball.”

Although the “green light” is subject to change each week, Ellis continues to prove himself as an important member of the Penn State team and Coach Franklin predicts that his “cheering section” will soon outgrow Centre County.