Delano Townsend thought his college path was settled when he committed to Western Michigan last June. On February 1, the 6-foot-5, 305-pound offensive lineman from Flint, Mich., plans on signing with Trent Dilfer's UAB program.
The change in plans began when Western Michigan head coach Tim Lester was fired in early December. Townsend decommitted a few weeks later and started looking for a new home. Townsend said a relative put his highlight tape on social media, and Dilfer was one of the coaches he tagged on the post.
Townsend said Dilfer reached out quickly, and about 10 days later, he was on an official visit to UAB. It was his first time on an airplane and his first visit to the South. Obviously, he liked what he saw because he committed to the Blazers earlier this week.
"I was looking for a chance to get away from home," Townsend said. "They set the visit up, and I went straight down there. It was a good opportunity for me. I wanted to take advantage of it."
Townsend grew up in the northern part of Flint, which he said is one of the rougher parts of the city. Temptations were around every corner. He said from an early age. He set a direct route for his future.
"I always stayed on the right path," Townsend said. "I knew my way out, and it was sports. I just stayed focused on that and tried to block out everything that's going on around me. There were a lot of people around you that don't want what you want. They got a different mindset. Thankfully, God led me on the right path."
His athletic path focused on basketball when he was younger. He joined the varsity football team as a ninth grader and figured out quickly that it could be his ticket to college. Townsend played on both sides of the line of scrimmage, earning Associated Press Division 5-6 All-State honors as a senior after helping his team to a 10-2 record and a district title.
All of his recruiting interest came as an offensive lineman. In addition to Western Michigan, Townsend, rated as a three-star prospect by On3 and 247, received offers from Miami of Ohio and Eastern Kentucky.
"My recruiting process, it was up and down," Townsend said. "It was a rocky path, but I'm glad I committed and got it behind me. I'm really just focused on the future right now. I can't change what happened in the past. I was looking for somewhere else to go and UAB came in on me."
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