The new year is always one of the biggest times for college football. Championships are on the line and traditions are continued, but since 2008 it has also been a big day for the future of the game. The Under Armour All-America Game has brought some of the nation’s best high school talent together to play in a game during the first week of the new year, and yesterday Tommy DeVito became only the second Syracuse commit to take part (long snapper Matt Keller played in 2015).
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the same breakout performance DeVito had given Orange fans in previous showcases. The four-star Syracuse commit split series with Kellen Mond (who is committed to Texas A&M), and couldn’t put a drive together in his five trips onto the field. He finished with only four completions on 18 attempts for 27 yards. He was sacked three times and netted four yards on the ground on five attempts. To be fair, Mond didn’t fare much better. He went 5-13 through the air for 90 yards and was also sacked three times. Mond’s performance rushing is what gave him the edge over DeVito; he ran for 84 yards on 14 attempts and broke off a 30-yard run. Team Highlight’s only touchdowns came on the ground, and DeVito’s team lost to Team Armour, 24-21.
If you think DeVito’s poor performance is any sort of red flag, you’ve probably been watching too much SU baskteball. There is no reason to panic here. It would’ve been great to say DeVito dominated the best defensive players in high school football, but struggling to connect with receiviers he met less than a week ago means nothing. Besides, the game is more of a formality than a competition; getting there in the first place is the real trophy. DeVito has run through the competition at Don Bosco (which plays some of the best talent in the country too, by the way), and beat out thousands of high school quarterbacks for a spot in this game. He is and will be the most exciting part of SU’s future until he becomes SU’s present.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson