By BRETT MARSHALL
Four Garden City High School football players put signatures to national letters-of-intent on Wednesday during a signing ceremony at the GCHS auditorium.
One, Greyson Tempel, will be headed to the far eastern side of Kansas to pursue playing quarterback at one of the top NCAA Division II programs. His brother, Dusty, will stay home and compete for a wide receiver position at Garden City Community College while the remaining two — offensive lineman Montana Fuller and defensive back Hunter Delgado — will head to central Kansas and attend Hutchinson Community College.
Each had their own story in the decision-making and recruiting process and for three of them — the Tempel brothers and Fuller — they were part of the 26-player senior class who catapulted the Buffs' program back among the elite in Class 6A this past fall as they reached the state semifinals before losing to eventual champion Derby.
The Tempel brothers and Fuller also were members of the 2013 Telegram All-Area team and Greyson was named The Telegram's Player of the Year. Just last month he was named to the 2014 Kansas Shrine Bowl West roster.
"Staying home was the best choice for me, rather than going to play at a bigger school," Dusty Tempel said when discussing his decision to stay home and play for the Broncbusters. "I talked to the players here, seen how they have had players like Tyreek (Hill, Oklahoma State recruit) go on to a D-I school, and feel like I can develop better here."
The speedy wide receiver, who also played defensive back and returned punts and kickoffs for the Buffs, finished his senior season with 58 receptions for 973 yards (16.7 average) and had nine touchdowns. His 58 catches were a school single-season record and he finished his Buffs' career with records of 97 catches and 1,565 yards. Defensively, he had 24 solo tackles, 13 assists, recorded two tackles for losses, recovered one fumble and had 15 pass breakups. He also had 10 punt returns for an 18.9 average and had one TD.
Dusty said it would be different not to have his brother on the same sideline with him next year, but also thought each made a good decision for themselves.
"I think it's the best decision for me, and for him," Dusty said of Greyson's decision to go to Pittsburg State University. "I think coach (Miller) has an offense that I'm comfortable with, and I think it just is a good fit."
Greyson was among the top players in Kansas after a record-shattering season for the Buffs.
He completed 151-of-283 passes for 2,535 yards and 26 touchdowns while throwing just nine interceptions. His dual-threat running ability produced 1,352 yards on the ground on 189 attempts (7.1 average) and he scored 19 TDs. He set school records for total yards in a game (420 vs. Woodward, Okla.), passing yards in a game (366 vs. Wichita Northwest), rushing TDs in a game (5 vs. Liberal), total TDs in a game (9 vs. Liberal), single-season passing TDs (26), single-season rushing TDs (19) and finished his Buffs' career as the all-time leader in completions (277), passing TDs (39) and total TDs (68). He was second all-time in passing yards (4,066) and third all-time rushing yards (2,298).
"It was a big decision, and it will be different not to play with Dusty," Greyson said. "From the time I went there, I felt comfortable with the coaches and they run an offense similar to what we ran here this past season. Every school recruited me differently, but in the end, I liked the way Pitt State runs its offense. It fits my style of being able to both run and pass."
Greyson Tempel said he felt he was prepared for the step up to a D-II school, where he will likely redshirt his freshman season.
"Coach (Brian) Hill has done a great job helping me," Greyson said. "He's so smart with quarterbacks. Each year, I've gotten better. I want to go prove myself, and because of what guys like Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) have done, I think there is a place for quarterbacks my size (5-11, 175). I need a year in the weight room and to learn the offense."
For Fuller, it was a matter of choosing football or wrestling, where he is one of the top Class 6A heavyweights this year. Football won out, and he liked what he saw in Hutchinson.
"Divison I, that's my goal and I think since I'm a little under-sized, two years there with putting weight on, will give me the best chance to reach those goals," Fuller said.
He was a first-team all-Western Athletic Conference selection, along with being chosen to The Telegram's All-Area first team. Hill said that Fuller graded out as the top offensive lineman on the team at right guard during the 2013 season.
"Hutch has been with me from the beginning," said Fuller, who transferred from Lakin to Garden City his junior year, missing that season on the varsity and only having the one season in a Buffs' uniform.
"I was raw and since I've been here, coach Hill and the other coaches have taught me how to pass block and I've gotten a lot better," Fuller said. "Hutch has state of the art facilities, and I know I'll get a good education there."
For Delgado, just the fact he has an opportunity to return to the football field in college is a bonus.
The 6-1, 180-pounder, suffered a serious kidney injury in the team's preseason scrimmage and he was forced to miss the entire 2013 season. As a junior, he was chosen to the all-WAC first team. He considered offers from Garden City C.C., Fort Hays State, Emporia State, Ottawa University and McPherson College.
"What sold me on Hutch was their weight program," Delgado said. "It's run like a Division I program, so I know I'll get some strength and weight and just add that to my game."
Delgado said that while sitting out the entire season, he was able to view the game from a different perspective and he thinks that will benefit him down the road.
"I saw games from an entirely different view," Delgado said. "I think it helps me see the big picture of the game better than I did before. I tried to help my teammates by pointing out things that I normally wouldn't have seen."