Ben Partee broke a pair of San Marcos High football passing records this past season.
That, along with his strong academic standing, enabled him to be rewarded with a full football scholarship offer to Gannon University in Pennsylvania.
Partee made his official visit to the campus last weekend and made his decision shortly there after.
“I went with my mom, and I think it was more so the coaches than the program,” Partee said. “I felt really accepted by them, and they seemed really excited to have me. I think the direction they were saying the program was going to go and how happy they were to have me, I think that’s really what had me make my decision.
“I was offered a full ride by them, so that was another big determining factor. My parents were also a big fan of that.”
Partee figures to be a big part of new head coach Erik Raeburn’s offense. The Knights plan on going with the Air Raid Offense, which was created by Mississippi State coach Mike Leach when he was at Washington state.
The Air Raid Offense is more like a spread concept,” Partee said. “There are less blockers in the backfield, less running-back protection. There are more deeper crossing concepts down the field. It was the offense Mike Leach ran at Washington State.”
Along with playing Division II football, Partee is also looking forward to the academic opportunity he will have at Gannon University.
The school has a strong engineering program, and Partee says he wants to major in mechanical engineering and some day work in the aerospace industry.
“I’m looking to get into engineering,” he said. “Gannon has a really strong engineering program, so I’ll be able to get a master’s in mechanical engineering within five years at Gannon.
“Nasa has always been a cool profession to me. Nasa or Boeing, or any of the aerospace companies.”
Partee conducted his own aerospace program as a senior this past fall.
He passed for 2,210 yards and completed 20 touchdown passes. Both set new school records. Partee also completed 64% of his passes and finished the Royals’ 10-game season with an impressive quarterback rating of 108.07.
Partee says he’s excited to be able to continue his football career at a school that rolled out the red carpet for him.
“They were super inviting to me and my family, so we kind of fell in love with the program pretty quickly,” Partee added.