Ellis officially a Jayhawk

For months, Wichita (KS) Heights star Perry Ellis was the subject of much hand-wringing and nail-biting among Jayhawk Nation - anxiety the 6-foot-8, 225-pound combo forward put to rest in mid September when he at last gave his verbal commitment to the University of Kansas. Wednesday, Ellis made that commitment official by signing a National Letter of Intent.

Perry Ellis is officially a member of the Kansas family.

The 6-foot-8, 225-pound senior combo forward from Wichita (KS) Heights High School committed to Head Coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks on Sep. 21, over a group of finalists that included Kansas State, Kentucky and Wichita State.

"I just felt so comfortable at KU," Ellis said, during his commitment press conference. "I just felt so comfortable - that's the main thing."

Wednesday morning, he made his decision formal by putting his signature to a National Letter of Intent, giving Self and Co. a truly versatile player capable of doing a little bit of everything, be it down low or on the perimeter.

"He's an athlete," Self said, via press release. "He can really, really run. (He) is so explosive and so strong now. I've seen him develop and I think he's prepared to have an impactful freshman year because we can pretty much put him out there and he can figure it out because he's so versatile."

Ranked a four-star prospect by Scout.com, Ellis averaged 22.1 points and 7.9 rebounds last season for Heights, helping lead the Falcons to their third consecutive Kansas Class 6A state championship.

Beyond his abilities on the court, Ellis is also an impressive student, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average, and volunteers as both a youth basketball instructor and with the Wichita Children's Home.

Self believes Kansas fans will fall in love with the elite big man for those factors as much as for his basketball acumen.

"He's so talented and going to be great," he said. "The face he has never made a 'B'. The fact he's competitive in the classroom. The fact he will be a great ambassador for our University and athletic program, shows that he comes from great parents in Fonda and Will. They do a remarkable job with their children. We're really excited about having this family be a part of everything we do."

In a National Signing Day article, Scout.com national recruiting analyst Brian Snow listed Ellis as one of six signees he expected to make an immediate impact at the college level.

"Either alongside (Thomas) Robinson or replacing Robinson, Ellis has the entire skill package that no other player on the Jayhawk frontcourt possesses," Snow wrote. "Ellis can play facing the rim, can take bigger players off the dribble and also has the ability to score down low with a post move."

The Jayhawks have also long held the commitment of Plano (TX) Prestonwood Christian Academy power forward Zach Peters, who is expected to sign his own National Letter of Intent later this week. They remain in the hunt for a handful of additional prospects in the Class of 2012 as well.

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