Recruiting & Scouting

FOOTBALL: Brother Rice 2015 ATH DeLano Madison commits to Western Michigan

Football   | Branden Hunter

FOOTBALL: Brother Rice 2015 ATH DeLano Madison commits to Western Michigan

  It was supposed to be his break out year as a junior perhaps, but instead, it ended way before it started. Around this time last year, on the first day of practice for football teams around the state, Brother Rice wide receiver and kick returner DeLano Madison broke the femur bone in his left leg. 

What was supposed to be a joyous occasion for Madison, and the Brother Rice program as a whole, being then head coach Al Fracassa's final season, turned out to be everything but. Of course the brutal injury would set Madison back a bit, but only the strong survive right?

"It was a freak accident," he said. "I was running, and in midfield, I made a cut and planted, then I felt the bone break. When I felt it, I knew exactly what it was."

Aside from the obvious, that it would be physically tough on Madison to recover, the injury also weighed on him mentally. Femur bone injuries usually take 4-6 months for recovery, so of course Madison had to sit last season out, but now he's ready to be a contributor again.

"Getting back physically was the easier. Getting back mentally was the tougher part," Madison said. "Telling myself day after day that I'm good, I'm back, I'm healed. I said that every time I went into therapy and left. I prayed and prayed, and God gave me the strength mentally, and physically, and now I'm back better than before."

Madison's injury not only derailed his season, but it also set his recruitment back. A player's junior year is vital, and he lost that. The 5-8, 160-pounder didn't lose his 4.3-forty speed though, and has worked his tail off to receive a college scholarship from Western Michigan, who he gave his commitment to on the spot.

"I knew with such a injury, coaches would be hesitant and wouldn't be as confident in me," Madison said. "So with that in mind, it just made me work harder, and push myself even harder just to show them I'm back, and I'm ready.

"I know I'm blessed, and God has his plan for everybody. All I had to do was wait, and trust that he would do it, and he did."

Western Michigan has been on a tear as of late on the recruiting trail, gaining four commits in a span of 48 hours, including Madison. Head coach P.J. Fleck and the Broncos are getting a speedster in Madison, and if he pans out, will be a steal for them. 

"They were impressed with my performance at their Oak Park camp, and they invited me to their second camp," Madison said. "I took a visit, and I dominated again. The coaching staff loved me, and I loved them. Coach Fleck said he wanted to offer me, and it all just felt right."

Madison visited Kalamazoo last weekend, but didn't get the offer. But his phone rang on Wednesday, and it was Western Michigan calling him once again, to tell him that they wanted him to be apart of what they were building. The feeling was mutual.

"I just had to commit," said Madison. "Coach Fleck and I had been talking a lot, and he stayed real with me. He told me the plan they had for me, and he showed that he has a plan that can turn their program around. 

"His plan was screaming my name, and I felt belonged. I like what he's doing, and what he plans to do in the future. It's a great atmosphere, great facilities, and I can go to Western Michigan, and play Division I football, as well as get a great education in the process."

Madison becomes the 22nd commit in Western Michigan's class of 2015, and 11th player from Michigan. He'll be used primarily on offense as a slot receiver, utilizing his speed, but didn't rule out playing some defense if need be.

Now Madison can focus on getting back on the field for the Warriors, and helping them capture a fourth straight Division 2 state title, which is impressive, even for them. If you remember the 2012 state title game against Muskegon, when then junior Jason Alessi returned a kickoff 91-yards for a touchdown? Well that play developed with a little trickery, when one of Brother Rice's other players initially fielded the kickoff, returned it five yards, stopped, and threw a lateral pass to Alessi who did the rest. That player was then sophomore DeLano Madison.

The 2014 season is just weeks away, and of course Madison can't wait to put the pads back on, and try to make more spectacular plays like that happen.

"I'm ecstatic, and I can't wait," he said. "It's my time to show everyone what I can do, and what I'm capable of. The game-plan looks great on paper, and looks successful. We just have to execute it, and we'll have a four-peat."