Versatile Peoples Drawing Attention

Coach Steve Devlin believes Desmon People's junior campaign will help the RB to receive offers.

Remember the Greatest Show on Turf? How could you not – a prolific offense led by the great Marshall Faulk, a multidimensional threat as both a runner and a receiver.

For head coach Steve Devlin of Archbishop Wood (PA), he has his own Marshall Faulk to scheme his offense around. Running back Desmon Peoples, off to an electrifying start to his junior season, provides a threat in the rushing, passing and special teams for the Vikings.

“We use him all over the place. We use him in an I [formation], use him as one back. We’ll split him to receiver. We utilize him in our return game – punting, kicking,” Devlin said. “He’s a legitimate threat to score every time he touches the ball.”

As Peoples go, so does his team. Already off to a 6-0 start, the dynamic back has scored 15 times. “The biggest thing is people have to defend him, and when they defend him other things open up. And if they don’t defend him, he’s very hard for anyone to tackle one on one,” his coach admitted.

He’s also making it easier for his teammates. Devlin praised Peoples’ efforts as blocker, which further illustrates him as a complete football player.

“He’s a pretty good blocker as well. He understands the game and what he’s supposed to be doing. He’ll get stronger, he’ll be faster and he’s going to be an exceptional football player for any college that he chooses.”

To this point in the year, Peoples has drew interest from the likes of Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Penn State, Temple, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia. Pittsburgh and Rutgers have already made offers.

“As this year goes on, more and more people are going to look out for him, and we’re going to do everything we can to expose him to everybody,” Devlin disclosed.

The Maryland Terrapins have done their due diligence, keeping their eye on Peoples despite the surplus of interested schools. Devlin said the process has gone so far as sending the team film to evaluate.

When they put the tape in, expect coaches to wow at Peoples’ skill set. The ability to run hard in between the tackles; the ability to outrun defenders on the edge; the ability to make plays as a receiver out of the backfield, according to Devlin, makes him such a phenomenal talent.

But what coaches won’t be able to see is the intangibles – the leadership qualities, the passion exhibited for his team, the all-out effort every play and the teammate Peoples is.

“Besides the speed and quickness that he brings, just his determination, his attitude – he wants to win at everything he does and he competes on every play. He’s a lead-by-example kind of kid,” Devlin said, noting that he’s often the first to congratulate a teammate whenever they score.

His passion translates into the classroom, too. Peoples will be sure to choose a college offering the right balance of football and academics to further expand upon a reputation with his coach for competing just as hard in the classroom as he does on the football field.

“He’s a good student. He puts a lot of time and effort into [his schoolwork], and it matters to him. It’s something he takes pride in,” Devlin said. “He competes in everything so he wants to be the best student he can be.”

Right now, Devlin has advised his running back to focus on building upon his impressive junior season and maintaining his grades, leaving recruiting to wait until the conclusion of the season.

Whatever decision Peoples does make, however, will pay dividends in the future for his college team. Devlin believes his new head coach will certainly look at back at having Peoples on the team, and know the school had been better off for having him.

“He’s a pleasure to coach. He’s one of the reasons you can go to practice every day and enjoy it. He’s always upbeat, he’s a great teammate, and in four, five years somebody is going to be very happy that they took a chance on him.”


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