Months later, the pair of 2017 recruits is days away from signing their letters of intent to play for the Scarlet Knights.
Wayne Demikoff, who coached both at Wayne Hills, sees a promising future for Rutgers.
“I’ve talked to (the Rutgers staff) a lot,” Demikoff said. “I know the (coaches) real well. I think they’ve got the thing going in the right direction. They’ve certainly committed to recruiting the state of New Jersey, which is what everybody has always said, and they’re doing it and I’m glad to see that. They’ve been professional and they’ve certainly worked hard at recruiting the kids at our place. So I’m excited at the future of Rutgers.”
DeVera announced his Monday commitment to Rutgers the morning after offensive coordinator Jerry Kill offered him as an H-back.
A one-time commit to Delaware as a linebacker, DeVera brings no shortage of intangibles to the next level, according to Demikoff.
“His work ethic, the way he carries himself, the way he approaches everything that he does in regards to football is just exemplary,” Demikoff said of DeVera. “He competes against himself everyday, he’s constantly trying to get better, just happy for him. I know he’s going to go there and have the same drive, same work ethic and have a great career at Rutgers.”
DeVera led Wayne Hills to the North 1, Group 4 State Championship during his senior season. He doubled as the quarterback and middle linebacker.
“(Quarterback and middle linebacker) are leadership positions,” Demikoff said. “We threw a lot of responsibility at him. He handled all of it, excelled at all of it. He’s well prepared for the next step. I think the hardest thing for a kid making the transition from high school to college is … the mental aspect of it, but I think Brendan’s more than ready for that for sure.
“He takes everything that he does in regards to weight training, studying of the playbook, understanding concepts, understanding plays — he takes all of that and he owns it. As the competition level rises, so will he. He’s one of those kids — you’re not going to outwork him, that’s for sure.”
Demikoff added that there is no shortage of versatility when it comes to DeVera.
“That’s what’s fascinating about Brendan,” Demikoff said. “Listen, he used to play just about every position on defense that there is. We lined him up at a three-point stance and rushed him, he played linebacker, he played safety, we dropped him down. He does it all. Offensively, as a quarterback, he’s run with the ball.
“As far as that H-back, that surge type of position, he’s going to be asked to catch the ball. Well, he’s athletic enough to do that. Even in his spare time at practice, he’s catching balls off the juggs and doing things like that. He’s got the speed that you need at that position. And the physicality of him, he’s certainly not shy about contact at all. As a linebacker, he excelled at that. So I think it’s a natural transition for him, absolutely.”
With Hayek, who committed to Rutgers in the summer, Demikoff said the 6-foot-4 wide receiver brings another immediate-impact player.
“He’s another one that I think will go in and compete right away,” Demikoff said. “He’s that big, long type of receiver. He’s poses problems. He’s got that kind of deceptive, glider’s-like speed where all of a sudden, he’s past you and you don’t realize he’s running that fast. For us, he was able to take a six-yard hitch and turn it into a touchdown. He’s able to run past people, run through people. He’s got that knack for getting open.
“He had an outstanding career for us and I still think that he’s going to get better. He’s going to get to college and the things that he’s going to be able to do there, I think he’s got his best football ahead of him still.”