In the eyes of an all-time Rutgers great, the new coach staff made a good decision Friday afternoon with its latest quarterback offer.
Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep quarterback Tommy DeVito received a verbal offer from coach Chris Ash on Friday, and it is just as exciting for the Ironmen’s offensive coordinator.
“I’m excited for him,” said Don Bosco offensive coordinator Mike Teel, who is a two-time Rutgers captain and the 2008 PapaJohns.com Bowl MVP. “Shoot. It’s different than the other ones, for me, because obviously I went there and played there and all of that stuff. It’s cool to see now the kid I’m coaching get an offer from the place that I went and was so important to me for so long.”
DeVito’s recruitment surged with recent visits after offers from Rutgers, Syracuse and Maryland in the last week. He is a multi-tool option at quarterback, and a potential Big Ten spotlight will not be overwhelming for the 2015 state champion.
“The advantage that he has over any other kid in the country for the most part is the exposure, I know you could say some other high-profile teams like [St. Thomas] Aquinas or [Bishop] Gorman,” Teel said. “Us being where we are, even though it’s high school, they deal with more media than they would if they were somewhere else. He’s kind of been thrown into it a little bit and he’s handled it at the high school level really well and I have no doubt that he would do the same in college. Growing up around here, being around here, he’s got some broad shoulders. He can take criticism because it doesn’t matter how good you are, you’re going to get it at some point.”
DeVito met with Ash and offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer during Friday’s visit to campus. Mehringer’s experience at James Madison and Houston may not be the perfect offense for DeVito, but the first-year Rutgers coordinator plans to be flexible with his playbook.
“That was my question mark, to be honest,” Teel said on how DeVito fits Mehringer’s offense. “Tommy went down for their junior day and again today but I don’t know [how he fits]. Just from following the recruiting a little bit and knowing the type of stuff that he was a part of at Houston, I don’t know if it necessarily fits Tommy but I’ve also read where he will fit the system around the quarterback he has.”
DeVito threw for 17 touchdowns and won a state championship as a junior, but can also make plays on the ground, Teel said.
“Tommy doesn’t get a lot of credit for being as athletic as he is because we don’t run him as much,” he said. “He’s a good athlete. He can run. He’s not going to win games running. He’ll win them throwing. But he’ll do enough to keep them honest.”
Rutgers signed Don Bosco center Michael Maietti on National Signing Day after he was one of DeVito’s top protectors in 2015.
“I think, especially the fact that Mike was Tommy’s center, there’s always a relationship when your center is somewhere,” Teel said. “It would be beneficial to him. It’s a familiar face and someone he trusts and knows. I think in the long run, that would make a difference.”