As recently as two years ago, Blue Springs running back Dalvin Warmack could sense his childhood dream of playing college football slipping away.
By SAM McDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Don’t be mistaken — his confidence as a running back never wavered. But after years of being told he was too short or too skinny to make it to the next level, he began to believe it.
"I had my doubts," Warmack admitted. "Just because of my height and my size, I didn’t know what would happen. But then I just worked hard and decided I was going to make the dream become reality."
Warmack is still waiting on the growth spurt. But the wait for an opportunity to play college football is over.
The Star’s All-Metro Player of the Year, Warmack verbally committed to Kansas State on Tuesday afternoon, opting for the Wildcats over Missouri and Toledo.
Kansas State offered Warmack on Feb. 21, with Mizzou joining the fray on Feb. 28, he said.
"It’s great knowing where I’ll be playing the next four years and not have to worry about anything heading into my senior year," said Warmack, who is generously listed at 5 feet 9. "I was thinking about waiting until the end of the summer, but after I visited (Kansas State), I didn’t need to wait any longer."
Warmack attended the Wildcats’ Junior Day on March 2, after which he said it became evident Manhattan would be his next home — not a long drive from his first childhood home in Topeka.
After his junior season for Blue Springs, which won the the Class 6 state championship, Warmack was announced in December as only the second junior to ever win the Thomas A. Simone Award. He rushed for 2,298 yards and scored 45 touchdowns. He will attempt to become the award’s first two-time winner next season.
Even though he gained 15 pounds prior to his junior season and another 11 pounds this offseason — bringing him up to 185 — he’s still not exactly an intimidating presence in the backfield. Nevertheless, his combination of vision and quickness has been well-suited for a Blue Springs offense that he says possesses striking similarities with the one he will be joining in 2014. Warmack pointed to Kansas State running back John Hubert, who despite being just 5-7, led the Wildcats in rushing last season.
"In my opinion, their offense caters to someone my size," Warmack said. "They run similar stuff to us (at Blue Springs). I felt like I could fit in. That definitely played a major role in my decision."