Blue Springs tailback Dalvin Warmack prefers anonymity, but he’s making a media tour like a politician in November.
He’s become pretty good at saying all the right things, too. The offensive line deserves credit for his 1,645 rushing yards this season, he claims. Ask him to reflect on the first 10 weeks, and he’s quick to respond with a look ahead to tonight’s district semifinal with Liberty.
But if there’s one thing that will cause him to break character, it’s this: A mention of his 36 touchdowns.
“I’m not gonna lie,” he said before offering a smile. “It feels pretty good every time you cross that goal line.”
He should know.
Warmack has made a living in the end zone. It’s where he resides nearly four times every Friday night.
In Blue Springs’ first 10 games, Warmack scored at least twice in nine of them, highlighted by a seven-touchdown outing two weeks ago against Lee’s Summit. The Wildcats are 9-1.
Impressed? Not if you know him.
Success on the football field is nothing new for Warmack, who turned the head of Blue Springs coach Kelly Donohoe as an eighth-grader. During an annual middle school game played on the Wildcats’ home field, Warmack made it look easy as he ran past — and over — defenders.
“I could tell he was a good football player,” Donohoe said. “I decided this was a kid we needed to play as a freshman. I loved it. I was excited.”
Standing next to Warmack, now a junior, there’s not much that will dazzle you. He claims to be 5-foot-8 — “and a half,” he emphasizes like a young child bragging about his age — but even Donohoe will tell you that’s a bit generous. He dedicated the entire offseason to adding 15 pounds of muscle, though he’s still not particularly thick, either.
Few, however, are blessed with his combination of vision, instinct and speed.
Before each play, Warmack scans the defense from sideline to sideline. After the snap, those instincts take over.
“Probably my best (attribute) is my vision,” Warmack said. “Everything happens so fast that you don’t have time to think it through. You have to use what you have and go with it.”
Warmack may not have size, but he is blessed with plenty of skills suitable for a tailback.
There’s the patience that allows him to wait for the hole to open up. There’s his patented spin move, which somehow doesn’t seem to slow him down as he bursts by a defender. And there’s even a hurdle, which he brilliantly used on a fourth-and-one play in an early season game against Rockhurst to leap a pile of defenders and dash into the end zone.
“He’s perfect for what they do,” Rockhurst coach Tony Severino said after that week three matchup. “He’s a tiny (running) back, and their offensive line is so big that our guys couldn’t even see him. He hides behind those guys, and by the time you find him, he’s by you.”
Severino’s Hawklets were surprised by Warmack’s talent — mostly because he was a rarely used tailback for the past two years.
Warmack dressed for the varsity squad as a freshman — just as Donohoe predicted — but he spent most of his time on the sidelines. A year ago, as a sophomore, Warmack hoped to become a feature back, but he instead played behind senior Marcus Brown.
His time has come in 2012.
“It took me a while to learn that not everybody can be the guy,” Warmack said. “You have to wait your turn. I worked as hard as I could and just waited and waited.
“Finally, my turn came this year. I’m breaking out.”
Turns out, being recognizable isn’t so bad after all.