It isn't often a freshman has the talent to start on a state championship team, but Devin King (6-foot-0, 215 pounds) isn't your garden variety football player. Not only did King start for DeSmet's 2005 state championship team, he did it at his second best position.
"I'm a running back," King responded when asked which position he played. "I played linebacker my freshmen year when Munir and Paddy were here. We won the state championship. I played outside linebacker at first, but then switched to middle linebacker when someone got hurt. That year I had 133 tackles, ten sacks and one interception.
"I didn't have a long season my sophomore year, because of a knee injury This year I'll play both running back and linebacker. You always love delivering the hit. I try to play like Walter Payton. I've taken the mentality that you can deliver a blow on offense too. I'm really good on defense, but when I touch the ball I'm in another world, so I prefer offense.
"I try to be the most complete back that I can be," King explained. "When I need to pick up a blitzing linebacker, I'll pick him up. When I'm coming out of the backfield on a route I want to catch the ball and get the first down. When I carry the ball as a running back, I want to be the type of ball carrier that gets everyone in the stands on their feet. I don't want to be the type of running back that makes the same move. I don't want to be just a speed back, or a power running back. I want to be a complete running back. I want to have power, speed, agility and explosion. I want to be the best blocker on the team. I want to be the best receiver on the team and I want to be the best running back on my team."
Devin King has two former teammates on the Notre Dame roster, but that isn't the only link the standout athlete has to the Irish program.
"My cousin is James Aldridge," King said. "I haven't talked to him for a little bit, because we've been playing a little phone tag. He's told me about the coaches and what they expect. I had a knee injury my sophomore year, so we've talked about that and what type of mindset you have to have to come back from that injury.
"I talked to Munir when he came home this summer. I talked to him for a couple of days when he was down here. We talked about the education at Notre Dame; is it as hard as everyone makes it seem. I asked him what the coaches expected out of him. We talked about the conditioning and lifting."
The Irish coaches will probably look to Mullen, Prince and Aldridge to help them recruit King, because the Irish are already showing interest in Devin.
"I'm getting stuff from Notre Dame, Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan, Kansas, Kansas State, and Alabama" King said. "I think I'm being looked at because I had a good year as a freshman. At that time a lot of colleges were looking at players on my team like Munir, Paddy and a few other guys.
"Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida and Florida State are probably my top teams right now, but I'm going to listen to all the coaches that want to recruit me. I want to go to visit some schools that I'm interested in this fall.
"I've never been to Notre Dame, but I will be visiting for the Georgia Tech game," King said. "I like Notre Dame a lot, so I want to go up and see that game. They have a lot of tradition and they are team oriented.
"I really don't know much about coach Weis, except that he had a good reputation in the NFL and I've seen what he's done at Notre Dame. I really like the way he runs his offense. My team's offense is based on his formations."