There's little doubt about Sam DeLany's athletic ability. You name the sport, and the Kettle Moraine senior is a standout.
As he's about to finish his outstanding high school career this spring, DeLany will undoubtedly go down as one of the most talented three-sport athletes in school history.
In the fall, he played four years of football, playing wide receiver as a sophomore, quarterback as a junior and back to receiver this past fall. From there, he took his skills to the ice rink and was one of the top players for the Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago/Oconomowoc hockey team, leading the team in scoring. He played hockey all four years for the Lasers.
And now, he'll close out his high school career running the sprints for the KM boys track and field team. This is his second year with the varsity after playing baseball as a freshman and sitting out the spring season as a sophomore.
But all of that versatility will get put on the shelf when the track season ends. That's when the 18-year-old DeLany will enroll at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and focus on just one sport, that being his favorite -- football.
DeLany will attend UW as a preferred walk-on as a wide receiver. He'll practice with the team, take part in all of the drills and meetings and try to make the gameday roster down the road.
"A preferred walk-on is basically a scholarship without the money," DeLany said. "I'm really looking forward to the challenge of making the Badgers roster. I'll redshirt this year so I can get bigger, stronger and faster. It's going to be super fun to play with some of the best college football players in the country. I'm going to give it my best and see how it all shakes out."
This past fall, DeLany put up some huge numbers catching the football from his good friend, quarterback Max Duchow. He caught 73 passes, good for 939 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 12.8 yards per reception. He did all that with the opposing team knowing that he was the top receiver for the Lasers.
"There's no doubt that Sam has some special athletic skills," said first-year KM football coach Justin Gumm. "He's one of the best and most detailed route runners I've seen at the high school level. He has unique gifts that make him very dangerous on the football field. I think it's great he's going to give it a try."
Before deciding on UW, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound DeLany was courted by both North Dakota State and Minnesota-Duluth. But he knew all the time he wanted to take a shot with the Badgers.
"I've been going to Wisconsin games for a long time," DeLany said. "I would be sitting in the stands, looking at the big crowds and thinking I'd love the chance to play at Camp Randall. Now, I'm going to get my chance. I can't wait to get started up there. I think two days after I graduate I'll be reporting to camp."
DeLany hopes to add 10 or 20 pounds of muscle his first year. He's been hand-timed at 4.44 for the 40-yard dash.
"I know I have to get stronger and faster," DeLany added. "Playing at the NCAA Division I level means all of the players, no matter what position, are going to be faster and stronger than any I have ever competed against. I'm looking forward to the challenge of trying to make the team. I'm going to put my best foot forward and see what happens."
It's something he's been doing the last four years.