Male Athlete of the Week: Ellis one of Keith Bears’ many weapons

Published 12:08 am Friday, October 12, 2012

Keith’s Rodney Ellis runs to the outside during last week’s home win over Billingsley High School. -- Dennis Palmer

As one of the multiple threats in No. 8 Keith’s wing-T rushing attack, Rodney Ellis is the male athlete of the week.

Ellis, whose statistical accolades include a 76-yard touchdown scamper in Keith’s 33-6 win over Billingsley last Friday, stands out as one of the toughest players on the field at running back, as it usually takes more than one player to bring the senior down.

“He’s strong — he benches 275 pounds — and has great vision,” said Harry Crum, head football coach of Keith High School. “He can be as good as he wants to be. He’s got more natural ability than most football players I’ve coached and this is my 16th year here at Keith. The sky’s the limit for him.”

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And as is the case with most Class 1A players, Ellis’ contributions don’t stop on the offensive side of the ball, as he’s one of the many Bears who puts in work on defense.

That versatility among Keith’s players is one of the reasons the Bears remain undefeated.

“Because he’s been around the program so long, he knows the offense in and out like the back of his hand,” Crum said, “and coach [Martez] Graham uses him on the defensive side of the ball, and he’s like a hybrid. He can play outside linebacker. I think he has one interception this year, and because of his quickness and his speed, he’s able to neutralize those guys before they get to the line of scrimmage.”