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story.lead_photo.caption Bud Sullins/Special to Siloam Sunday Siloam Springs senior Isaac Knudsen signed Wednesday to play football at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Pictured are: Front from left, mother Sena Knudsen, Isaac Knudsen, father Bruce Knudsen and former Siloam Springs head football coach Bryan Ross, back.

Isaac Knudsen was one of Siloam Springs' most dependable football players in 2017.

Out of necessity, the 6-foot-2, 240-pound senior lineman played on both offense and defense and had a strong season. Now, he's getting to reap the rewards.

Knudsen signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play football at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

Knudsen said William Penn contacted him during football season about his interest in playing college football.

"We didn't talk for a while, and then I messaged (William Penn) back and they said they wanted me to play football," Knudsen said. "We visited and we loved the campus and the coaches, so I decided to sign with William Penn."

William Penn is an NAIA school based in Oskaloosa, Iowa, that plays in the Heart of America Conference. The Statesmen went 7-4 in 2017.

Outgoing Siloam Springs football coach Bryan Ross was happy for his former player, adding that Knudsen had a really solid senior season for the Panthers.

"When you think about him having to play on both sides of the ball, at the level we're at, that's very, very difficult, and he did it," Ross said. "Probably if he hadn't had to play on both sides and was only on one side, he would have been even better. He's a true team player. Never questioned why we did it -- he understood.

"One thing about Isaac is you could count on his best every snap. That's really what you're asking for. He played with a fast motor. He really started to improve last year (in 2016) and, in my opinion, had a really good year this year. I'm really proud of him and I know he'll go up there and do a good job."

Knudsen finished with 26 total tackles, including two quarterback hurries and three tackles for loss. He was named to the 6A-West All-Conference team and was the team's recipient of the Brandon Burlsworth Award.

"I'm just happy he gets to go play," Ross said. "That's what he's wanted to do. It's always nice to see a kid fulfill a goal."

Knudsen said William Penn coaches have hinted that he would play mainly on the defensive side of the ball.

"I've always wanted to play at the next level," Knudsen said, "and I'm just really happy to get to live my dream."

Sports on 02/11/2018

Print Headline: Knudsen heading to William Penn for football

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