Alex Delton could have waited. He could have met with more college football coaches. He could have pushed for more scholarship offers. And he could have announced his college choice at a publicized ceremony, same as many other recruits.
But he had something different in mind.
Delton, a junior quarterback from Hays, Kan., wanted to be the first member of Kansas State’s 2015 recruiting class. So he verbally committed to the Wildcats more than 11 months before national signing day.
“It’s a little bit of pressure on me to be a leader, but I’m ready for it,” Delton said in a phone interview. “A few guys from the 2014 class called me when they saw K-State wanted me and really tried hard to get me there. They sold me. Now, I want to be that guy.
“As a quarterback, other recruits are going to see that I committed. Hopefully they will get in contact with me and we can talk about the offense we are going to run and we can add some really good players. I’m looking forward to being the leader of this class, and helping it become one of the best in school history.”
If Delton sounds like he is already enrolled at K-State, it is because he decided to commit in early January. He simply waited until this week to make things official while visiting campus.
He then shared a lengthy conversation with K-State coach Bill Snyder.
“He told me he doesn’t get this close with a lot of high school players, but he felt like I was already one of his players,” Delton said. “He made me feel like family. We talked about the quarterback position, and how well I fit his system. The last few years, he said they have been itching for a quarterback like me. It was an honor to hear him say those things.”
Delton, 6 feet and 185 pounds, is a dual-threat player who has completed more than 55 percent of his passes for 1,978 yards and 26 touchdowns in two seasons as a high school starter. He has also rushed for 1,369 yards and 21 touchdowns. Delton is a three-star recruit and the nation’s No. 13 dual-threat passer, according to Rivals.com.
Some have already compared his quickness to Daniel Sams. But Delton describes himself as a pass-first quarterback. He says he tries to play like Johnny Manziel and behave like Russell Wilson.
“My coaches always tell me, ‘I kill you with my arm and I bury you with my legs,’” Delton said.
Delton chose K-State for one main reason: He loves Snyder’s offense.
“It fits me to a ‘T,’” Delton said. “The fit couldn’t be any better. Everything they do plays to my strengths, a lot of read-option stuff. I love that stuff, being able to run and pass at a 50-50 split. There are few programs in the nation that do it like that, and K-State is very successful with it.”
Jake Waters will run the system next season as a senior. Sams, a soon-to-be junior, could be in line to start at quarterback the following year. After that, it could be Delton’s turn.
K-State is the only program that has offered Delton a scholarship, but Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Notre Dame, LSU and others have shown interest. An verbal commitment isn’t binding, so he may still receive other offers and consider other schools.
But he says nothing will deter him from attending K-State. In fact, he plans on enrolling a semester early.
“None of that other stuff is huge for me,” Delton said. “I found the school I wanted to be at. That’s what matters to me. I am 100-percent sold on Kansas State.”