In the southern part of San Diego, not far from the Mexican border, Keenan Ellis caught the attention of BYU’s coaching staff. A D4 track athlete who made it the state championship last season in the 200x and 400x events, Ellis considers himself a speedy dual-threat athlete.
“I play for Bonita Vista High School and I’m 6-1, 170-pounds and have been clocked in the 4.5 forty range,” Ellis said. “I’ve been clocked hand-timed at a 4.4. I play wide receiver and cornerback. I’m a very explosive player and I communicate well with my teammates. I’m always going 100 percent every play. I have a short-term memory when something bad happens and just move onto the next play. I’m a hard worker and I’m going to keep on working.”
After receiving a scholarship after attending a BYU satellite camp this past June, Ellis decided now was the time to pull the trigger. He had done his due diligence spending lengthy time researching what his BYU scholarship had to offer.
“I did some research and I noticed that BYU strives in academics and in athletics,” Ellis said. “I love the fan base, it’s excellent! The coaches are very supportive and I feel like they’ll support and motivate me to become a great student athlete and better person.”
He even attended BYU’s season-opener against Arizona and was impressed with not only the team but the large number of fans that turned out to support new head coach Kalani Sitake.
“I made it to the BYU vs. Arizona game and that game was exciting,” said Ellis. “The BYU fan base is crazy! I thought there were more BYU fans at the game to be honest with you. I love their system and how they play. The defense swarms to the ball really well and Jamaal [Williams] is an outstanding runner. I was sitting with Butch Pau’u’s family at the game. I told them that I was offered by BYU and they were telling me all about the school. It was a great experience.”
Fast forwarding to the middle of the season, Ellis felt it was time and called Ed Lamb and informed him of his decision to become a BYU Cougar.
“I called the coach that was recruiting me, Coach Lamb,” Ellis said. “My dad just had a few questions about how it all works with the religious commitment there at BYU and everything. He was just informing me of how good they’re going to be. Coach Lamb was able to answer my dad’s questions and he feels good about everything, so I just told Coach Lamb that I wanted to commit to BYU and stick to my commitment.”
Following his commitment to Coach Lamb, Ellis took some time to think over what just occurred. He knew he just made a final decision that would affect the rest of his life.
“I was just sitting down by myself for about an hour and I was thinking, ‘Dang, I just made my final decision!’” said Ellis. “I’m excited! I was just thinking it over after talking to my family. I just couldn’t help but commit to BYU because it’s just an outstanding opportunity for me. Coach Lamb was happy, my dad was excited, and my mom was too!”
The question is, “What position will Ellis play?” While he isn’t quite sure just yet, it doesn’t really matter much to him.
“Coach Lamb told me that they want to recruit me on the defensive side of the ball, and as well as on offense,” Ellis said. “If they need me at corner then I’ll play corner. If they need me at wide receiver, then I’ll play wide receiver. It all depends at what they need me at. I’m just grateful I get to play football at BYU.”
Ellis isn’t planning on taking any unofficial visits to BYU electing to come on his official visit in January.
“I haven’t taken any unofficial visits to BYU yet, but I’ll probably just come out on an official in January,” said Ellis. “I’m looking forward to the experience though. I hear the campus is really beautiful with all the mountains and the environment in really great out there. I’m excited to get out there and check out where I’ll be playing college ball at in the future.”