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Daylan Jones, Xavier Bell excelling in football and basketball

By Joanna Chadwick

Even though he was an outstanding quarterback, Daylan Jones quit football at age 12.

As a junior, he’s considering playing college football.

“My brother persuaded me to get back to doing it,” said Jones, who plays at East. “He said there’s more opportunity. Before, I felt like I didn’t want to play quarterback. I wanted to change my position.

“And now that I’m playing wide receiver, that’s more of a fun position to play.”

Jones, who is 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, decided to play football at the end of the summer.

He has already drawn attention after nearly 200 receiving yards in the season opener. He had a slick one-handed grab in the end zone in a win over Kapaun Mount Carmel on Friday night, which earned him a highlight on ESPN.

“Every day I’m falling more and more in love with this sport,” Jones wrote in a text. “This is probably the most fun I’ve had during my years in high school.”

Northern Iowa and Kanas State talked to Jones at East about playing football. He wrote in a text on Sunday that his coaches had told him Nebraska and West Virginia coaches wanted to know about him and his background.

Jones’ ideal situation is to play both.

“But if I have a chance at starting in either (sport), that’s what I’d pick,” he said.

Andover Central senior Xavier Bell is also an outstanding basketball and football player.

He has played football since second grade and has offers from two junior colleges.

“Football is something I’ve always loved to do,” he said. “I’ve been good at it, and there’s the relationships, the friendships I’ve built on and off the field.

But Bell, who is 6-3, 184 pounds, only wants to play basketball in college. He has offers from Denver, Southeast Missouri State and Central Connecticut.

“I have battled whether to play or not,” he said. “Talking to friends, coaches, other people who help me make decisions — I might as well right it out. I might not ever be able to do it again.”

Andover Central is 3-0 after beating Goddard on Friday.

Although Bell is excited about his team, noting most were sleeping on their talent early, he knows what he wants.

“I got a letter from (Kansas) State — they can’t wait to watch me this year and hope I have a good year and look forward to talking to me,” Bell said. “If a big football school talked to me, I don’t know. I’d take it in to consideration.

“I like where I’m at. I’d have to stick with basketball.”


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