HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Saint Louis offensive lineman Kalan Ellis signed his National Letter of intent on Wednesday, committing to Syracuse University.
In a year unlike any other, the senior is relieved that he is finally heading to New York next fall, a culmination of all of his years of hard work.
“It was everything I ever wanted,” Ellis told reporters. “All of my hard work and education paid off to get me to this spot.”
This is also a sigh of relief for the Ellis ohana, who has helped their son get to this big step in his life.
“It means everything to them, I’d be the first person on my mom’s side to go to college and to get a scholarship,” Ellis said. “So they really helped me work towards my progress and helped me with my craft. Giving me tips on everything, even after games and practices.”
Ellis is now headed across the country for New York, which at first would seem like an unlikely landing spot for the local boy, but Ellis will join head coach Dino Babers who was born in Honolulu and played running back for the University of Hawaii.
“It was two coaches, the head coach and o-line coach, they were from Hawaii.” Ellis said. “One coached and one actually played, so we developed a good relationship that made me want to go there and then I looked up that they’re a top educational program.”
Even though his college team is secured, his high school team is still unsure, without any approval for the return of prep sports in Hawaii, Ellis is aware that he might not wear the Blue and Red ever again, but would love to make a run for a title one more time.
“I would love to keep another championship title and especially to play a season with my younger brothers one more time and bring home that trophy.” Ellis said.
With Ellis’ signing, he is one of many local athletes signing scholarships to further their playing career and learning, a testament to the hard work and talent in the islands.
“It shows that we have people that are down here in Hawaii that can succeed and that we can compete with the mainland people as well.” Ellis said. “So it puts a spark in us to strive even further.”
The Syracuse Orange finished off their season at 1-10, hoping to get a boost from the 2021 signing class.