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Top stories 2013 -- Delton keeps getting looks

By AUSTIN COLBERT

acolbert@dailynews.net

Hays High School junior quarterback Alex Delton dazzled many throughout the summer and the Indians' 6-3 season in 2013. Because of this, he is becoming one of the most heavily recruited prep athletes the area never has had.

And as Delton transitions into his senior season, the amount of attention is only going to go up.

"Any time you are a college-level athlete, everyone is going to want to watch and see what you got and see you put on a show," Hays High football coach Ryan Cornelsen said.

"Alex and I talk probably once a month, or every now and then, about making sure he understands to not make this all about recruiting. Make it about where you want to go to college, where you want to get your education. As soon as he makes a decision the recruiting and all the attention goes away."

Cornelsen has coached a handful of players that went on to play college football, most notably La Crosse High graduate and current Fort Hays State University tight end/fullback Marshall Musil, who started his collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma.

But even Musil didn't get the attention Delton is now getting, which is why Delton's attention has been tabbed as one of The Hays Daily News' top stories of 2013.

Delton passed for 635 yards, ran for 476 and accounted for 18 total touchdowns this season, despite missing two games because of a groin injury. There were many games where Delton wasn't asked to do a lot, not with HDN area offensive player of the year Preston Weigel taking the bulk of the carries.

Despite the relatively low numbers, the attention hasn't lessened toward Delton. Delton has repeatedly impressed at camps and workouts across the country, most notably at a regional Rivals.com camp in Texas during the summer.

And Delton will have a chance to boost his recruiting landscape even more next week, when he attends the 2014 Under Armour All-America Combine in St. Petersburg, Fla., Jan. 1-2. The combine is invite only and features 250 of the top recruits in the 2015 class, 100 of which will be invited to return a year later to compete in the Under Armour All-America Game.

"I'm definitely excited, just because of the fact it's invitation only," Delton said. "I'm just looking to compete out there and have a good time and hopefully it ignites a spark showing what a Kansas kid can do nationwide."

What Delton hopes comes from the combine is more scholarship offers. He currently holds an offer from Kansas State University, which he received after an impressive camp workout in Manhattan during the summer.

But he also has received attention from many other big name schools, and knows a good showing in Florida could turn into many more scholarships to choose from.

"He is going to have the opportunity to get his college paid for. That's exciting anytime you get a chance for one of your players to get that opportunity," Cornelsen said. "He will get a chance to represent himself and not only his family, but our program. A kid with Alex's character and personality, you are just glad that young man is the one that gets to represent you at those kind of things."

Outside of Kansas State, Delton has made unofficial visits to the University of Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. He has also been in contact with Tennessee, Vanderbilt and West Virginia, among others.

Recruits are able to make five official visits to schools of their choice, something Delton will likely do early in the summer.

He hopes to have made a decision on where he will play by June, and no later than the beginning of the 2014 high school football season.

"Probably the toughest part is a bunch of schools are coming at you wanting different things and sometimes you can't really tell a difference between some of the schools," Delton said.

"I try not to let recruitment take over my life, but in a way you don't control a lot of it. A lot of it is just them getting at you. It would be good to be done with all of it before my senior year so I can just focus on my teammates."