McKinley joins newly formed football program in Surprise, Arizona, which will redshirt its 2017 season

COURTESY OF PETER MCKINLEY - Gervais 2017 graduate Peter McKinley inks his commitment to the newly-formed Ottawa Spirit football program in Arizona.Gervais High School 2017 graduate Peter McKinley signed his letter of intent last week to play collegiate football this fall for Ottawa University-Arizona in Surprise, Arizona.

McKinley will be a member of the Spirit football team's inaugural season, as Ottawa University officials unveiled plans for a 35-acre campus next to Surprise's civic center.

A Kansas-based nonprofit Christian university, Ottawa University aims to enroll 250 students by August and plans to create 19 varsity sports programs as part of its bid toward National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics designation.

The Spirit's football team will start with a redshirt season in 2017 before hitting the gridiron in 2018, and the university will use sports facilities owned by the city and surrounding high schools until it develops its own.

McKinley is expected to play on the defensive side of the ball under newly hired head coach Mike Nesbitt.

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