ECC football players move on to the next level

ECC football players move on to the next level

Ellsworth Community College Panther football is proud to announce the signing of six players to continue their education and playing careers at four-year colleges.

Sophomore wide receiver Tyrian Taylor has signed to play Division I football at New Mexico State University. Taylor played only one semester for the Panthers but was a standout for the team. He ran the ball 21 times for 55 yards and returned kicks with a 21.3 yard average. He had 61 catches for 1,029 yards and 10 touchdowns. Taylor also received NJCAA All-American honors and was named an NJCAA First Team All-Conference wide receiver as well as Second Team All-Conference returner. He is originally from Orlando, FL.

Sophomore Panther defensive tackle Larenz Abston of Des Moines will be transferring to Division II Emporia State University in Kansas. Abston played in just 8 games for ECC but recorded 26 tackles, two sacks and 3.5 tackles for a loss.

Offensive lineman Brian Steffensmeier, a sophomore from Dyersville, has signed with Division II Upper Iowa University. Steffensmeier played in all 11 games and was awarded All-Conference honors both years at ECC.

"Brian was our most consistent offensive lineman all year long," commented Head Football Coach Jesse Montalto. "His size and athletic ability will make him one of the best OLs in the NSIC."

Josh Kirk, a sophomore from Maquoketa, will be transferring to NAIA Grandview University in Des Moines. Kirk had 73 tackles this year (48 of them solo) and three interceptions. He also received NJCAA First Team All-Conference honors this year and was awarded the ECC Rod Mather Award.

"Josh has been a consistent player and leader for this football team all year long," says Coach Montalto. "His defensive intelligence along with playmaking ability will help him continue his success at Grandview." 

Other Panthers signing include sophomore defensive tackle Leonard Wright from Atlanta, GA, who will be playing at Division II West Alabama, and sophomore defensive tackle Kevin Rubin of Detroit, MI, who will be playing at Division II Southwest Minnesota State University.

"All of these guys have been a big part of our foundation at ECC and will truly be missed in our program," said Montalto.


Photo Caption: Shown left to right: Tyrian Taylor, Larenz Abston, Brian Steffensmeier, Josh Kirk, Kevin Rubin and Leonard Wright.