Downs Talks Visits And Positioning

Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) athlete Devante Downs has the size and skills to be a threat on either side of the ball. Where do certain schools like him?

At 6-foot-2, 230-pounds, Devante Downs has the frame and ability to make an impact at running back or linebacker. Listed as the No. 1 ranked fullback by Scout, the Washington prospect is nearing a dozen offers and has been hearing frequently from Washington, Arizona State, Stanford, Oregon State and Vanderbilt. But, he's in no hurry to break down favorites.

"I'm trying to keep it even right now," Downs said. "I've only unofficially visited three places, so I can't really judge it."

Those three visits all include schools in the Pacific Northwest. Hometown Washington was one, and he also took trips to both Oregon State and Oregon. According to Downs, Washington wants him at running back while both Oregon schools are scouting him at linebacker.

"I'd say about 70 percent of the schools want me as a running back and like 30 percent want me as a linebacker or defense," Downs said.

Downs was in Eugene last weekend to take in the Oregon spring game. While there, he met with linebackers coach Don Pellum.

"He likes that I'm a versatile athlete," Downs said. "We talk about football, we talk about schemes, where I fit in and stuff. Basically he's trying to get to know me better and that was pretty much my purpose for going to the spring game this past weekend."

Surprised by the massive turnout at Autzen Stadium for the scrimmage, Downs said he spent most of the game evaluating the linebackers and said he thinks he would fit in well with the Ducks defensive schemes.

Downs also toured the facilities and walked away impressed. He had an opportunity to talk to defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti and head coach Mark Helfrich as well, which made him feel comfortable.

"They knew my name before I introduced myself, so I was on the radar already and that felt pretty cool," Downs said.

Though he doesn't have an offer from Oregon, the visit was encouraging.

"Pretty much what I got from them is to keep doing what I'm doing and stay on the right path and good things should just happen," Downs said.

Downs is planning on taking unofficial visits farther south to California in the next three weeks.

"I'm going to visit Stanford and Cal unofficially and that's all I have planned for now," Downs said. "I think in the summer I'm going to take a couple more."

Already focused on his impending senior season, Downs is continuing a successful workout program with his personal trainer in an effort to improve his game further.

"I'm working on speed, explosiveness, just everything that a football player needs," Downs said. "I saw the improvement greatly from my sophomore to my junior year and I expect better results this year."

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