STANTON - One of Stanton’s most talented athletes has signed to play college football and run college track.
Devan Simpson, a major contributor on the football field and standout track hurdler, has signed with Wayland Baptist University in Plainview.
Simpson was all over the field during his high school career playing quarterback, receiver, returning kicks, punter, and defensive back. He earned first team alldistrict punter and second team all-district quarterback in 2017 and was all-district honorable mention in 2018.
His junior year on the track Simpson was stellar. He was a 2019 state qualifier in the 110 hurdles, district champion in the 110 and 300 hurdles, and area champion in the 110 hurdles.
When asked what his signing means Simpson responder, “It is an answer to prayer. Just being able to represent small-town West Texas and being a leader for other people that are coming up. Being someone they can look up to and hopefully open some doors for future athletes. Hard work and dedication pays off.”
Simpson was recruited by several other schools such as Abilene Christian University, Dallas Baptist, Lubbock Christian University, University of Texas of the Permian Basin, and Oklahoma Baptist just to name a few.
Why Wayland? “The coaches were very interested, and Wayland gives me the fastest avenue to the football field,” said Simpson. “They were also the only school to offer me scholarships in both sports.”
Simpson’s high school football career was cut short due to a knee injury and the COVID-19 pandemic ended his high school track career early.
“For me, the big thing is that Devan gets to finish his athletic career the way he wants to,” stated Stanton football coach Cody Hogan. “One of the worst things that we went through, for me personally, was watching a kid go down in 7-on-7 like that. A non-contact injury, and he gets his whole senior football season taken away from him. And then, of course, with what happened this Spring with the shutdown. So now, he gets to go on and finish his athletic career his way on his own terms.”
Wayland football coaches plan to use Simpson heavily as a defensive back but will move him around the field to any position they feel will benefit the team.
On the track, Simpson looks to compete in the 60 meter Hurdles during the indoor season and the 110 meter Hurdles during the outdoor season.
“Devan accomplished a lot in our track program and he accomplished a lot individually. He dropped two seconds off his time from his junior year in the 110 hurdles, which is a huge, significant drop in time,” stated Stanton track coach Graden Long. “He’s the kind of kid that I could build my program around and get kids to buy in. It’s an awesome thing to see a kid in any sport go to the next level, but especially a kid that you’ve grown close to and see him reach his potential and grow up as a young man. It’s awesome to see kids have some success and get to go run at the next level.”
When not playing or practicing sports, Simpson will be studying to earn a Criminal Justice degree.
Simpson reports to camp on Aug. 5 and will put the pads on as a college player for the first time on Aug. 12.
He is the son of Jermaine and Lorie Simpson of Stanton.