St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.) just recently made wholesale changes to its coaching staff, brining in five new assistants with deep ties in East Baltimore. Before long, the Chase Street mainstay figures to have a football program that rivals its prestigious basketball squad.
But while the talent level figures to see a significant uptick in the coming years, St. Frances already has a couple intriguing FBS prospects that are firmly entrenched in the program. One is senior linebacker Nnamdi Egbuaba, who the Terps just received a commitment from, and the other is a junior receiver who figures to receiving plenty of attention this offseason and next fall.
Devin Phelps, who transferred from nearby Dunbar before last season, is a 6-foot-1, 175-pounder with 4.45 40-yard dash speed and claims solid interest from the likes of West Virginia, Maryland, Clemson, Temple, Florida, Pittsburgh and Kent State. He said the Mountaineers and Terps indicated offers could be forthcoming with strong summer one-days in the coming months.
"A lot of schools have been talking to me, a lot of schools are close to offering. Maryland, West Virginia, Pittsburgh has picked it up too," Phelps said. "Most of the coaches are saying they really like me and want me at camps and 7-on-7s, things like that."
Phelps first caught Maryland's eye last summer at a team 7-on-7. He said he performed well and was subsequently invited back for a camp.
"I know Coach [Mike] Locksley saw me at the 7-on-7 and was really impressed," Phelps said. "And Coach [Andre] Powell, he recruits me and has been up at my school talking to my coaches about me. He told them he'd like to have me at some games and to come back for some camps [in the summer]. Coach Powell, he's a real cool guy."
The St. Frances wideout did attend one Maryland game last fall, the Nov. 9 Syracuse bout that saw the Terps fall 20-3. Needless to say, Phelps had seen better games.
"It was cold, that's what I remember the most," Phelps said. "And honestly, it wasn't the most exciting game. I was actually mad because Stefon Diggs was hurt, and he's a player I look up to as a receiver. But Maryland is cool; I like it down there."
Phelps does plan to return to College Park, Md., again, likely for one of the Terps' camps. His goal is to do enough to prove he deserves a firm Maryland offer.
He has the same aspirations when he returns to West Virginia, Pittsburgh and possibly Clemson.
"With West Virginia, that offer is basically there for me. Coach Galloway and a couple others over there really, really like me and have stayed in touch with my coaches about me," Phelps said. "I know they want me back down there real soon. That's another one where I did real well at their camp.
"And Pittsburgh, they've sent me like 45 letters, and I've talked to the coaches there and they seem like they want to take a look at me. Clemson, they're in there too and I want to get down there if I can make it."
Right now, Phelps doesn't have any true standouts among the programs looking at him. He said his dream schools are Florida and Oregon, though neither have contacted his coaches.
"I kind of want to get away for college," Phelps said. "I'm thinking either out west or down south. But we'll see. There's a long way to go. I'll see what offers come in."
Of course, Phelps knows any scholarship is contingent on meeting the NCAA Clearing House standards. Phelps said the main reason he transferred from Dunbar was due to academic issues, which he said are being ironed out.
"Since I've been at St. Frances I have almost a 4.0 GPA," Phelps said. "I've done really well this year, thanks to team study hall, Coach Messay [Hailemariam] pushing me, and St. Frances' programs that really help you out."
Last year Phelps played primarily receiver and helped St. Frances to a 7-5 record. He said this season he's slotted to play defense and return kicks as well, which should only help improve his stock.
"Receiver is my primary position though; that's where I see myself in college," Phelps said. "I have good hands, good speed and when the ball is in the air I'm going to make a play. I do have to work on my footwork and route running, though."
Phelps recently showed off his receiver skills at the Army All-American Combine in San Antonio, Texas.
"That was a great experience for me; there was a lot of talent down there," Phelps said. "But I think I proved myself. I think I did really well."
Phelps Starting to Generate Interest
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