WAYLAND — WACO senior Colton Horak signed his letter of intent to attend and play football at William Penn University on Tuesday, which was also national signing day around the country.
Horak finished in the top three in total yards in Class 8-Man this season and has been a major part of WACO’s team for the last four years.
Horak says the decision to pick William Penn was largely based on visits there, and a personal relationship with one of their assistant coaches, slot backs coach Aaron Hinnah.
“Coach Hinnah actually has a little personal connection,” Horak said. “He played state championship football with my brother in-law, so I kind of knew him a little bit. He talked to me a little in my sophomore and junior seasons, and so I kind of knew him a little bit. When I took the visit in Oskaloosa, I really liked it. I felt in place, and hung out with some of the guys on the team. I kind of got a feel for what it was all about, and I really enjoyed it.”
Hinnah was at the signing, which took place at the WACO gym. He says Horak was one of William Penn’s most sought-after recruits.
“We usually don’t have a lot of underclassmen over for official visits, but we had Colton down as a sophomore because we knew he was going to be something special,” Hinnah says. “We’ve just been blown away with him from the start.”
Horak, who plans on studying sports management with a business minor, ran for 1,190 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, which led the team. He also had a team-leading 624 years and seven touchdowns receiving the ball.
On defense he had seven interceptions, one for a touchdown. He also served as the team’s special teams star. He was the kicker, the punter, the kick returner and the punt returner.
WACO head coach Chad Edeker says he knows why Horak turned into such a dynamic player.
“It’s Colton’s drive,” Edeker said. “Not only is he one of if not the most athletic person on the field, he’s also the most motivated. It doesn’t matter what the score is. He’s going 100 percent the whole time, and he’s so smart football wise. He understands the game.”
Horak says he feels like he’ll probably be a defensive back, but he’ll do anything the Statesmen ask him to do.
“When I went there, they split us up in position groups, and I went with the defense, so maybe a free safety or something like that,” Horak says. “But I’d love to carry the ball, and maybe do some returning. Definitely do whatever I can to get on the bus.”
He’ll be joining a team that went 4-7 overall this year and 2-3 in the conference, though that record was against a gruesome schedule. Six of William Penn’s 11 games were against ranked opponents.
Horak credits all his coaches at WACO for readying him for the next level, and even cited the school’s move to eight man in getting him prepared for the speed of a college game.
“I think they’ve done a great job of preparing me mentally and physically for the fast pace, especially since we’ve been playing eight man for the past three years,” Horak says. “I’m not going to forget any of the practices or games or anything like that. I love all my coaches and I had a heck of a time with all my teammates. A lot of good things come from WACO High School.”