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Burnt Hills QB Paul Layton to kick at UAlbany

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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: Burnt Hills QB Paul Layton to kick at UAlbany

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Burnt Hills QB Paul Layton to kick at UAlbany

After leading the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake varsity football team to two Section II Class A titles and its first-ever appearance in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association final in the Syracuse Carrier Dome, quarterback Paul Layton will continue his career in the backfield with the University at Albany.

But it won’t be as a quarterback, it will be as a punter and place kicker.

“During the season I kept an open mindset and was willing to listen to any college and play any position,” Layton said. “I was recruited by some colleges to play receiver, so I kept an open mind. After the season ended, I wanted to focus on kicking and punting, trying to get a scholarship.”

Layton had conviction about his new position, but was open to new and challenging opportunities in college.

“I was set on Pittsburgh or Syracuse as a recruited walk on,” Layton said. “UAlbany talked to me early and I said ‘No, I thought I would go in a different direction,’” Layton said. “Then (UAlbany) Coach Ford called (Burnt Hills) Coach Shell following up and extended a full offer. We set up an official visit.”

In his final season under center Layton passed for more than 1,300 yards on 78 passes and 13 touchdowns and was free to run with the ball, grinding more than 1,100 yards on the ground and scoring 20 touchdowns. For his efforts under center he was rewarded the opportunity to show off his own kicking game, splitting the upright 64 times for extra points and hitting three field goals.

“It was great,” Layton said. “I got the opportunity and it completely changed my entire thinking of where I am going to go to college. I’m glad Coach Ford and UAlbany give me the opportunity to go there and compete for a spot.”

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