ANSONIA – Ansonia senior Nathan Denniston, the son of Todd and Dottie Denniston signed to play football for the Urbana University Blue Knights.
“I’m just very blessed,” said Denniston. “It’s been a dream of mine forever. It took a lot of work and now it’s finally paying off. I’m just glad to see I’m going in the right direction.”
“It’s a big day when you get a guy getting a scholarship from a small school like this,” said Ansonia offensive coordinator and former Earlham College coach Matt Macy. “He’s got a ton of potential. I think he could be a heck of a Division II player. I coached college a long time and I’m telling you he could be a heck of a player at that level. I thought maybe he could have even been a good player at an even higher level, but that’s a good fit – Urbana is a good fit. He got a good scholarship.”
The 6’4” 300 pound Denniston plans to play offensive line for the Blue Knights at the offensive tackle position or guard.
“I really like the coaching staff there,” Denniston noted. “Coach (Jim) Cordle and Coach (Tyler) Haines are really turning the program around. They have a bright future down there.”
Urbana University competes in the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference. Teams include Shepherd, Fairmont State, Notre Dame, West Virginia State, West Virginia Wesleyan, UVa-Wise, Charleston, Glenville State, West Liberty and Concord.
“His strengths are his basketball background,” noted Macy. “Being a big guy, you hear that all the time. They want the offensive linemen being basketball players. The system that they run offensively is going to fit him a lot better. That’s his strength – his athleticism. He can run. He’s a 300 pound guy that can run and that’s rare.”
Dennistion helped lead the Ansonia Tigers football team to the OHSAA playoffs – Darke County’s lone qualifying team making it to the Ohio High School Athletic Association playoffs this past season.
“He had a great year this year,” stated Macy. “Whenever we needed a yard he was our guy – we went behind him. He never backed away from competition.”
Denniston plans to major in Education while taking his football skills to the next level.
“Get my major and get a good job and keep going up from here,” Denniston said of his goals while attending Urbana with hopes of becoming a high school history teacher after graduation.
“He’s an all-in guy,” concluded Coach Macy. “A lot of guys go to college…they’ll play one year and they’ll fade away. I don’t see him fading away.”
PHOTO CAPTION: (L-R) Dottie Denniston (mother), Denniston and Todd Denniston (Father). (Gaylen Blosser photo)