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Marian RB Lee commits to Penn

Published: Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 6:28 p.m. CDT
(Sarah Nader)
Sarah Nader - Marian Central's Ephraim Lee runs a play during the third quarter of Friday's game against Montini Catholic in Lombard October 11, 2013.

All along, Marian Central running back Ephraim Lee felt the pull from the Ivy League.

Heading into the football season Lee had Harvard and Yale at the top of his list for prospective colleges, but it’s another Ivy League school that will get Lee’s services for football.

Lee committed this week to attend the University of Pennsylvania and play for the NCAA Division I Quakers. Lee chose Penn over D-II Augustana (S.D.) College.

“I liked the campus, and the coaching staff,” Lee said. “It’s close to the city and their football program is one of the best.”

Lee ran for 1,166 yards and 20 touchdowns last season for the and was a Northwest Herald All-Area first-team selection. He also caught 21 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns.

As a junior, Lee ran for 1,323 yards and 15 touchdowns and was an All-Area second-team pick.

Lee (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) visited Augustana first and received a scholarship offer. Ivy League schools cannot offer athletic scholarships, but Lee still wanted the highest education available.

“I’m very excited. The college process has been very challenging at times, but I’m glad I found a school that I liked a lot and a school that fits me and is best for me,” Lee said. “It’s a great feeling and a relief. I’m very excited to go to an Ivy League and play football there as well.”

Penn was 4-6 last season, but the Quakers won the Ivy League title in 2009, 2010 and 2012. Lee, who in undecided on his major field, hopes to compete for playing time as a freshman.

“They don’t redshirt you as freshman, unless you get hurt,” Lee said. “They put the best players on the field is what they do, so if you’re a freshman and you’re good, you’re going to play.”

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