By the time Kevin Morton left Abington in 2008, he had secured all of the high school's passing records and become the most prolific thrower in Suburban One League history.
Despite such incredible accomplishments, Division 1 colleges passed on the 6-foot-1, 180-pound quarterback, fearing his size wouldn't play at that level. Disappointed but determined, Morton joined Division II Kutztown with plenty to prove.
By the time he graduates next fall, after his redshirt senior season, Morton will have also shattered Golden Bears records.
A two-time PSAC East Offensive Player the Year, Morton has 11 career 300-yard passing games, including two of 400 or more. He already holds the marks for passing yards (3,633 in 2010) and touchdown passes (38 in 2010) in a season — and has passed for a score in 21 straight games.
Barring injury next season, he'll likely set marks for passing attempts, completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns for a career.
"It's exciting to be able to leave your mark on a program,” Morton said. "It's something to be proud of. I felt the same way at Abington."
As a freshman, Morton left an auspicious early impression on Abington head coach Tim Sorber. Playing safety against Cheltenham late in a game, he intercepted a ball on a 4th-and-long situation, despite being instructed to knock the ball down.
"It hit me right in the chest," Morton said, with a laugh. "I got up thinking I'm the man. I got a varsity interception and I'm jumping up and down. But [defensive coordinator Kevin] Conlin met me halfway across the field and yelled. I was shocked. I hated messing that up."
That fittingly ended Morton's time on defense, Sorber joked. As quarterback during his sophomore season, Morton led the Ghosts to their first winning record since 1996, and the first of Sorber's coaching career.
The next year, Morton took the Ghosts to their first PIAA District 1 4-A playoff appearance.
"Kevin brought a winning tradition back to Abington, then created the same thing at Kutztown," Sorber said. "While he's performed on the field, what he's done there is a tribute to his leadership. It's not a surprise that he's going to break every record there."
Sorber quickly discovered Morton's advanced skills at the position, especially in a three-step passing game designed to allow him to make the correct calls based on the defensive coverage.
"A lot of sophomores can't do that," Sorber said. "Kevin was a smart football player, could understand what the defense gave him and call the right play. We went from a run-oriented team to a passing team. It was pretty evident that we wanted the ball in his hands."
That has continued at Kutztown. Last season, Morton led the Golden Bears to their first NCAA Division II playoff appearance, though they were eliminated in the second round.
They reached the same point this fall, though Morton's season ended before the playoffs when he broke the fibula in his leg during the final regular season game. While the records will come, Morton said he wants to go further in his fourth and final season.
"You could put up great stats and be on a terrible team, and there's nobody out there to watch you," Morton said. "We've been playing well for a few years and get a lot of fans in the stands. It's fun to be a part of that."
A criminal justice major, Morton plans to pursue a career in probation and youth correction, because he wants to provide guidance to kids.
He said he understands that few Division II quarterbacks reach the NFL, and only former NFL wide receiver Andre Reed advanced there from Kutztown.
"It's a longshot," he said with a laugh. "I'll just let that develop. It would be nice to get to a few pro-day workouts, but I'm not going to call NFL teams. I know my limitations."
He just refuses to be defined by them.