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DePriest ready to make his mark with Ottawa football

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg senior Jonathan DePriest was a big part of the Wildcat offensive line this past season and hopes to do the same next season at Ottawa University.

He may not have played football till the sixth grade, but football has always been a big part of Jonathan DePriest’s life.

DePriest’s uncle, Adam Helm, played quarterback at Kansas State under Bill Snyder in the late 90s and engineered one of the best comebacks in K-State history in 1999. His grandfather, J.D. Helm, was an assistant coach for the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1980s and was the assistant director of player personnel before that.

Needless to say, DePriest has always been around the game and he got a chance to make his mark with the Wildcat football team this past season.

The Louisburg senior was on the Wildcat offensive line that helped Louisburg finish the season with a 10-1 record and a regional championship. It was a year to remember for DePriest and the Wildcats, but his football career is far from over.

DePriest made it official on Feb. 6, in front of family and friends, as he signed his letter of intent to play football for Ottawa University as an offensive lineman for the Braves.

“Honestly it is a huge blessing to have the opportunity to play at the next level and I am really excited for it,” DePriest said. “It is a great campus and they have great coaches and I think it is going to be a great experience there.”

DePriest will join an Ottawa program that has found a lot of success in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) and in the NAIA. He will play under head coach Kent Kessigner, who is in his 16th year with the Braves and during that time he has won four KCAC titles.

Louisburg senior Jonathan DePriest signed his letter of intent on Feb. 6 to play football at Ottawa next season. Sitting next to Jonathan are his parents Heather and Greg DePriest and standing is Louisburg head coach Robert Ebenstein.

Kessinger also guided the Braves to a successful season in 2018 that ended with a No. 20 national ranking.

“Coach Kessinger and his coaching staff have a completely different philosophy when it comes to football than other colleges and that really resonated with me,” DePriest said. “The Ottawa football program is more like a family in the way they support you, hold you accountable and make you strive to be the best you can be. The campus is easy to navigate, everyone I met was welcoming and the athletic facilities are state of the art.

“They see me fitting in on the offensive line, probably at the guard spot or something like that. They have won some championships and they have a really good coaching staff. The whole campus was really nice and I couldn’t turn it down.”

Playing collegiate football is something that takes a lot of dedication and hard work, but DePriest is ready for the challenge and he believes playing for the Louisburg program has helped prepare him for what to expect.

As a member of the Wildcat offensive line, DePriest helped pave the way for 3,500 yards of total offense at the tackle position.

“It has taught me a lot of things,” DePriest said of the Wildcat program. “It has made me a better person, whether it is waking up at 6 in the morning for weights in the summer or the practices – it builds a lot of character.”

DePriest, who would like to major in psychology, is excited for what his future holds with the Braves’ program and he hopes to be a big part of it.

“I am just very thankful for the opportunity that I have been given,” DePriest said. “I am ready to work hard and hopefully this is just the beginning.”

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