Dylan Curry’s goal leaving high school was to play NCAA Division I football.
That dream has finally come true.
Curry, a 2010 graduate of Western Hills, is a red-shirt freshman at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.
A tight end, he’s played in all seven of the Cardinals’ games and started against Clemson.
“I’m really having a good time,” Curry said Tuesday. “I enjoy being up here, and I’ve gotten used to being farther away from home. I’ve made friends here; I’m really enjoying it.”
It’s been quite a road to Ball State. Curry initially committed to the University of Louisville the summer before his senior year of high school.
That was when Steve Kragthorpe was coach. Kragthorpe was fired after the 2009 season, and Charlie Strong was hired as the Cardinals’ head coach.
Curry signed with U of L as a grey-shirt his senior year at WHHS. He attended Louisville for a year but never played football.
“What with all the coaching changes going on, I didn’t feel like it was the right fit for me,” Curry said of Louisville. “They were changing their style of play, and it didn’t fit what I wanted.”
When he decided to transfer he put in a call to Ball State.
“They offered me out of high school,” Curry said. “When I decided to leave Louisville I got in touch with their recruiting coordinator, Coach (Joey) Lynch. I gave him a call, gave him some information and told him I was thinking about transferring.
“They kept in touch with me pretty well. I wanted to play ball, and Coach Lynch made it happen.”
Curry had to sit out last year as a transfer, and he has four years of eligibility at Ball State. He’s currently a junior academically with a major in criminal justice.
He’s been splitting time behind the starting tight end, going in every other series or every two or three series.
“It’s one of those things I’d like to be playing more,” Curry said, “but I’m doing everything I can to help the team. That’s my role. I’m doing the best I can. I’m happy to help the team any way I can and hopefully move up to a starter.”
His one collegiate start so far was memorable.
“It was a wild experience,” Curry said about starting at Clemson. “I was talking with my dad and I said the most people to see me play when I was in high school was at the Franklin County games, and that might be 3,500 to 4,000. This was 85,000 people.
“It was probably one of the best moments of my football career. They were a top 10 ranked team then. I thought we went down there and put up a good performance.
“It was a great experience, and I know it helped me. I’m not going to play the rest of the season in a more rowdy, loud atmosphere than that.”
Curry has had plenty of support this season. Members of his family have been to all of his games and his fiancée, Hannah Smith of Lawrenceburg, is a student at Ball State.
The Cardinals, members of the MAC (Mid-American Conference), are 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the conference. They play Central Michigan Saturday, and they’ll be on national television twice before the season ends – Nov. 6 at Toledo (ESPN2) and Nov. 14 when their game against Ohio is televised on ESPN2 or ESPNU.
“It’s definitely a full-time job at times,” Curry said of playing D-I football, “but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s not only the football aspect but it’s school and everything. I get school paid for and a good education.
“All these guys are my best friends. We’re together 12 hours a day at least. It’s a great experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It can be hard at times, it definitely is, but in the end it’s all worth it.”
Including the journey to Ball State.
“I’m happy with the way everything worked out, looking back at leaving Louisville,” Curry said. “I’m happy it happened.
“I was upset at the time with all the changes taking place, but it turned out to be a blessing. Everything turned out well.”