Ellsworth Community College alumni and former Panther tight end John Rabe, a native of Iowa Falls, signed an NFL contract this week to play for the Pittsburg Steelers.
Rabe played for the Ellsworth Panthers in 2009 and 2010. He led the 2010 team to a 9-1 overall record and a 7-0 mark in Midwest Conference play, and he was an NJCAA First Team All-American after tallying 43 receptions for 406 yards and two touchdowns. The Panthers finished the 2010 season ranked No. 14 in the nation, but lost the Graphic Edge Bowl game 20-34 against Lackawana College (PA). In his freshman (2009) year at ECC, Rabe was an All-Region player, catching 25 balls for 488 yards and two scores. He played in the 2009 Graphic Edge Bowl, which the Panthers won 64-7 against Central Lakes-Brainerd (MN).
"John was a great student-athlete at ECC and was able to take his talents to the University of Minnesota," says ECC Director of Athletics & Student Life Nate Forsyth. "He had a great college career and now has an outstanding opportunity to advance his career professionally. I wish him the best of luck and thank him for being such a quality student-athlete at ECC."
ECC Head Football Coach Josh Lattimer adds, "John's is one of those special stories that inspire Iowa Falls and ECC athletes. He had a successful career at Ellsworth and was a great leader on and off the field. He comes back to the Iowa Falls community and speaks with high school students about what it takes to be a collegiate athlete and the dedication you have to put forth to be successful. Our program and staff here at ECC wish him the best!"
After transferring from ECC, Rabe was a featured blocker for the University of Minnesota Gopher offense from 2011-2012. In his junior year, he played all 12 games with six starts, recording four receptions for 36 yards and two touchdowns. In his senior season, Rabe scored four touchdowns with 143 total yards receiving.
He is the son of Gary Rabe and Susan Tystahl of Iowa Falls, Iowa.