TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Hayden football standout Desmond Purnell was one of the best two-way players in the state for the last two years. Going forward, he didn’t care which side of the ball he would be on.
“I was pretty open, just whatever gives me the best chance to play, I’ll take it,” Purnell said.
The running back and defensive back fielded a lot of interest from MIAA schools but didn’t have a Division I offer until last week.
“Coach Klieman texted me, pretty sure it was Monday at two, asked for a call and I said ‘yes, of course, earliest time’ and then he called me and said he really like what I had and then he offered me and I accepted it on the spot. I was ready to go.”
And just like that, the DI dream became a reality – but it still feels like it isn’t real.
“I just think it’s crazy and I can’t wait to get up there.”
The 6’1 defensive back liked a lot about Manhattan, starting with atmosphere on gameday.
“Insane, I just remember growing up everybody, just insane, hype about it and that’s what I’m ready for.”
But baked goods helped as well.
“I really do like it and there’s a cookie place up there that I like too.”
Coach Klieman had one thing, in particular, he like about Desmond.
He said that he notices that I like to hit.
Purnell will be the second Wildcat in the Bill Arnold tenure at Hayden to go to K-State and he says he hopes his opportunity gets more Topekans to Manhattan.
“It just feels great knowing that I can give everybody a chance to get out there, hopefully, coaches come in here and see more guys.”