By: Jimmie Sykes
Corey Dalton is gearing up for unfinished business down in Stephenville, Texas.
He’s headed to Tarleton State University to join their surging football program. Dalton is two years removed from a first team All-State Defensive Back selection with the College of the Desert. Dalton led the conference with 11 interceptions in 2016. His twitter handle is “LockdownCO”, and the proof is in the pudding.
Dalton lived in Nashville, Tennessee and found love for the game playing organized football at age five. He relocated back to Chicago a year later and found himself apart of the south suburban Hazel Crest Mustangs from ages six to thirteen. During his time with the Mustangs, he did a little bit of it all. Corey has a bloodline that ran through the Mustangs’ organization, with a host of uncles, cousins, and siblings who also played for the team. Dalton even found himself contributing to a little league Super Bowl win his 8th grade year.
Dalton credits his mother for being his biggest inspiration and motivation. “Single mother of three always making it happen for us. She always pushed me to make it for her,” said Dalton.
Defensive back became Corey’s primary calling in high school football. During his senior year, he racked up 39 tackles, 3 interceptions, and an All-Conference selection. The future was shining bright for Dalton, so he packed his bags and headed to the desert. At the College of the Desert (COD), Dalton’s hunger was on the rise. The more you seen him on the field, the more you were going to get from him. In his first season with the Roadrunners, he tallied 36 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 6pbu.
The first word used by Dalton’s former DB coach, Coach Mobly, to describe him was “Wow”.
“Dalton’s athletic, such a great player. The year I coached him he had (11) interceptions. The sky’s the limit for this young man. He’s a player that can definitely change a defense around,” said Coach Mobly.
During his All-State campaign, Dalton’s name was ringing bells across the desert. He finished his second season with 51 tackles, 11 interceptions, 19pbu, 3 tackles for a loss, 1FF, and 2 touchdowns. He appeared in all 11 games during his All-State run. His defensive performance was more than enough to earn him defensive MVP honors in the American Division-Mountain Conference.
His biggest game of the season, and perhaps of his life, came against East Los Angeles in the Patriotic Bowl. Dalton finished with six tackles and two interceptions in the loss. Despite the end result, his big game capped off a solid 4-1 conference performance. The Roadrunners 2016 outing snapped a six year bowl drought in the desert. Head Coach Jack Steptoe also won Coach of the Year in 2016 with a 6-5 overall record. With his chapter closing in the desert after the season, Corey was faced with a new direction.
Faced with a new task
No fork in the road was enough to blemish Dalton’s mission. He was faced with a situation that summarized his two years of inactivity in collegiate sports. “It was a situation that was stopping me from being able to finish my college career. It was stopping me from getting into every school I talked to during my recruiting process,” Dalton said.
The situation wasn’t enough to block his path to Tarleton State University, where he continues to major in Sports Management. The university is an NCAA Division II school that is in the Texas A&M University System. Their school has a little over 13,000 students enrolled according to a 2017 tally on their website. The Tarleton State Texans are coming off a 12-1 season, going undefeated during the regular season (10-0). They are the defending Lone Star Conference champions after a loss to Minnesota State in the Semifinals. The Texans have themselves a new winner to add to the mix.
New work, new goals.
Adding Dalton’s killer mentality along with a stellar 2018 outing by the Texans is a recipe that makes a problem for opposing teams. “We’re coming into the season with a chip on our shoulders, looking to have another great season,” said Dalton.
As for the Texans’ new DB/Nickelback, he’s set three goals for himself this season. In his first season back, he’s playing for some more exposure again. He wants to get his name back out there and get noticed. Texas is big on football, so he’s got nothing but space and opportunity for that. Dalton is looking to become an All-Conference DB again, aiming for seven or more interceptions on the season.
The Texans kick their season off against Stephen F. Austin at 6pm at Homer Bryce Stadium on Sept 7.