As a Gatesville running back, Jake Kee avoided many tackles and slipped past numerous defenders. But he was caught by the radar of the Oklahoma Panhandle State University football program.
Kee signed a letter of intent to play for OPSU on Wednesday during National Signing Day.
“It’s just a great feeling knowing that I’m going to be able to play football again,” Kee said.
The Aggies went 4-7 last season as an NCAA Division II independent based in Goodwell, Okla..
Kee visited OPSU over the weekend and said the school gave him reasons to become an Aggie on and off the field.
“It’s a solid campus and more of a teachers to students ratio,” Kee said. “They’re a young team. In a couple of years, they’ll be good and I liked it up there.”
Kee was a first-team District 8-3A selection as a senior, leading the district in rushing, posting 1,071 yards and seven touchdowns. The prior season, he was named the district’s offensive player of the year.
Gatesville head football coach Kyle Cooper said the Hornets will miss Kee next season, especially when he heard assistant coaches shouting in his headset during Kee’s runs.
“It didn’t matter if it was 40 yards out, 60 yards out, 80 yards out: When Jake Kee hit the corner and one of those coaches in the press box uttered the words ‘He’s gone,’ you knew it was a touchdown,” Cooper said.
Cooper said he witnessed Kee’s progression during his prep career and thinks the incoming Aggie freshman has the competitiveness to excel at the next level.
“A thoroughbred’s got to run and a guy like Jake Kee’s got to play football,” Cooper said. “For him to get that opportunity and have someone pick up a big portion of that tab is just really exciting for him.”
Kee said he plans to play slot receiver and a little bit of running back at OPSU and will enroll in the fall.
“I just think that next year and the years after that, we’re going to be all right up there,” Kee said.