The Farmington Hills Harrison Hawks are off to another high-flying start under veteran coach John Herrington, and a major reason for that is junior receiver/defensive back Mark Dell. GoBlueWolverine was on hand Friday evening to watch the 6-1, 170-pounder in action vs. rival Lake Orion. Dell had an instrumental 29-yard reception in the fourth quarter to set up the go ahead score, and the Hawks pulled out the game 14-10. "My season is going pretty well individually," Dell said. "We've had some pretty good wins on our team. We had a few injuries to some key starters, but we stepped up as a team. We were picked to lose against Lake Orion because of all of the injuries we had, but we stuck it out and won that game too."
Dell's big play ability has posed problems for opposing defenses and has forced them to game plan to stop him. As the season has progressed, the 6-1 Hawks have seen more attention focused in Dell's direction increase every week. Whether that limits his production, though, is inconsequential to him…as long as the team wins. "I'm not even really sure what my stats are," Dell said. "I think I have ten touchdowns but I'm not sure for how many yards."
Though he has excellent tools, (deceptive speed, nice size, and excellent hands), Dell has seemingly come out of nowhere to emerge as one of the better players in his class. That may be do in large part to the fact that he is a relative newcomer to football and hasn't participated in any simmer camps up to this point. Many that are just now seeing him are coming away impressed. "I just try to be myself out there," Dell said. "I don't really compare myself to any big name player, but I like to pattern myself after Braylon Edwards. People that haven't seen me play would probably be surprised by ability because I just started playing football my freshman year. That was my first year ever playing football. I haven't been to any of the school camps. I went to the Nike camp in Ann Arbor. I think this year I'm going to get involved a little more in the camps"
Once Dell makes his way to college campuses this summer he almost certainly will turn out to be one of the more heavily recruited players in the state. One school has already taken notice of his talents and has had him on campus for an unofficial visit. The Michigan State Spartans have already offered the talented prospect a scholarship and that has helped the Green and White move up his list. "Growing up I liked Michigan a lot, but after I started hearing so much about Michigan State and after I took a trip up there for the Michigan-Michigan State game, I started liking them too," Dell said. "I like USC a lot. Those are my top three schools, but the main school that's really talking to me is Michigan State right now."
Dell has excelled as a two-way starter for the Hawks and could conceivably play on either side of the ball in college. That said, he does have a preference. "I like to think of myself as an offensive player," he said. "I think I'm better suited for wide receiver, but I think I play both fairly well."
Another factor that may play into Dell's ultimate decision is basketball. He made noise on the hardwood last year and is receiving attention in that sport as well. "I haven't really talked to too many colleges, so I'm not really sure how much that will play into things," Dell explained. "Right now I have schools interested in me for both sports, but there are more interested for football than in basketball. I did pretty well last year in basketball. I averaged 17 points per game. I'm hearing from a few Division 2 schools, but hopefully this year I'll better myself and get the same opportunities in basketball that it looks like I'll have in football. Next year when I'll be able to make the decision on what I want to do."
In the event that football is his sport of choice at the next level (which is the most likely scenario), it is clear that the program that lands must be strong academically off of the field, and have an inviting depth chart on it. "My education comes first," Dell said. "That's the key. I want to make sure I go to a school that I can degree in whatever I decide to major in. I want to go some place where I can play and get a good education at the same time. I know a redshirt will probably happen, but I don't want to go somewhere where I'm behind a whole bunch of other receivers."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Dell later in the year.