The list of Kansas City-area football players who will continue their careers at Kansas State continued to grow late Tuesday, when De Soto offensive lineman Marshall Kellner announced his commitment to Bill Snyder’s program.
“I am honored to announce that I have accepted an offer to play football at Kansas State University,” Kellner posted Tuesday night on Twitter, a few hours after Snyder, the nation’s oldest active coach, announced his decision to coach in Manhattan for a 27th season.
“Coaching definitely was part of the decision,” Kellner told The Star. “I felt more confident in the coaching staff at K-State staying there, or even if Bill Snyder left, it would be more of a legacy change instead of maybe at KU it would be a sweeping thing. I didn’t want that to have an effect on me.”
Kellner, a 6-3, 285-pounder who played guard and tackle for De Soto, became a Bobby Bell Award finalist, a Kansas Football Coaches Association Top 11 selection and The Star’s All-Metro first-team honoree after a season in which he had 92 pancake blocks and allowed no sacks.
Kellner played arguably the biggest role in helping De Soto (10-2) reach the Kansas Class 4A-Division I semifinals and set a school record 4,218 yards of total offense. De Soto averaged 6.31 yards per carry behind Kellner’s efforts this season.
Through 26 career starts at De Soto, Kellner only allowed one sack on 260 passing attempts and recorded 168 pancakes.
Kellner, an All-Simone team pick, previously held offers from William Jewell and Central Missouri. He received preferred walk-on offers from both Kansas or Kansas State and was swayed by the Wildcats’ offerings.
“You won’t even know the difference between who’s on scholarship or who’s a walk-on player at K-State,” said Kellner, who boasts a 4.29 grade-point average and ACT score of 32 and will pursue a career in aerospace engineering. “The walk-on tradition there is so great. You have a great chance of earning a scholarship there and playing eventually. It looks really promising.”
Kellner is the third player from the Kansas City metro in the last month to announce his commitment to K-State, which finished 8-5 and beat UCLA in the Cactus Bowl. Grandview defensive end Cartez Crook-Jones and tackle Shane Cherry both committed in early December. Crook-Jones and Lawrence’s Ekow Boye-Doe, who committed to the Wildcats in late October, signed letters of intent during the early signing period that opened from Dec. 20-22.