ST. JOHNS – Parker Devine never stops putting in the work.
The Bartram Trail junior defensive end/tight end stays in tip-top shape year round by participating in lacrosse and weightlifting for the school on top of his football duties.
Coming off his first season as a varsity starter, Devine aleady has 21 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, three sacks and a forced fumble in three games as a junior.
As a sophomore, he totaled 70 tackles (20 for a loss), seven sacks, three fumble recoveries and a blocked field goal.
“It’s a different speed,” Devine told Prep Sports Scouting about his first varsity season. “There’s obviously a lot better athletes at the varsity level and there a lot bigger than JV offensive lineman. My agility and strength I worked on a lot in the off-season and I think it is showing this year so far.”
Devine played at 210 lbs. last year, but has since gained 30 lbs. to his 6’4″ frame.
In terms of what he’s aimed to improve further this off-season, he simply said pass rushing.
“I’ve bust my butt with finding moves that I know work with me,” he said. “Getting moves I can use I have down pat with. I now have an arsenal of moves.”
The Bears went 9-4 last season advancing to the 7A region final against Lake City Columbia. Devine called it a crazy environment.
“It was a lot crazier than I would have thought with all the fans coming out,” he said. “Columbia is a great team, so that was an eye opener I guess.”
The Bears have opened the season 3-2 with wins over Bishop Kenny, Ridgeview and Fleming Island. Devine says he thinks the way the team prepares this season is a big edge for his group.
“Ever since last season ended we’ve been motivated to get back to where we were and farther,” he said. “I definitely think our work in the weight room is showing on the field. We’ve gotten a lot stronger.”
Starting his football life at age 9 as a linebacker and quarterback, Devine also played basketball and baseball growing up.
He made the move to the defensive line as a freshman after being an offensive lineman in eighth grade. Devine says there a few packages offensively that include him as a tight end, a position he loves to play.
His other high school sports are lacrosse and weightlifting. In terms of how they help him on the football field, this is what he said.
“Weightlifting adds explosiveness and lacrosse helps with the footwork and being used to contact all the time,” he said.
In terms of where Devine discovered his confidence, he said that came last season in a 52-51 victory over Ponte Vedra. He had two pass breakups and a blocked field goal in that game.
Devine pointed to his run stopping, first step and motor as his biggest strengths. He’s always looking to improve his technique and hand placement.
Currently, he has two offers from Central Michigan and Toledo.
On top of that Notre Dame, Indiana, Boston College, Mississippi State, Kansas, Kentucky, Georgia Tech and North Carolina have all shown interest.
Devine has made visits to Notre Dame and North Carolina already and plans to make trips to Vanderbilt, UCF and Mississippi State soon.
As for his ideal landing spot, he said that was Notre Dame.
“My family has been a fan of them ever since I was young,” Devine said. “The tradition really intrigued me. The academics are unreal as well.”
Devine gets to play for a bright mind in 14-year head coach Darrell Sutherland, a guy who has led Bartram Trail to three state tournaments (2007, 2011, 2013). That includes a triple overtime loss, 38-35 to Armwood in 2013 in the title game.
“It’s great. He’s [Sutherland] a great coach and he’s an even greater teacher,” Devine said. “He tries to make us influential men on others. I think that’s bigger than football. He teaches us more lessons than football does.”
Devine called his parents and grandpa his biggest role models. He says his parents always push him and encourage him while his grandpa helps with anything he needs.
Thinking big picture, Devine has his focus on going to a good college where he can earn a good degree and play football. Nothing further than that.
“I want to play a lot in college. I haven’t thought a lot about NFL unless college really plays well,” he said. “I want to be a business owner, if I pick a school that’s high up in business I want to do that or medical.”
This is a good kid right here. He has mix of smarts, strength and overall passion for the game of football.
Parker Devine has big plans for his life whether it comes on the gridiron or not. For now, he’s getting plenty of looks from high-end college programs. If he can continue to thrive there’s no reason he can’t continue to flourish at the next level.
Favorite players to watch – Texans DE JJ Watt
Playlist before games – Eminem
Favorite movies – The Blindside
Favorite TV shows – The Middle
Fun fact about you that you think nobody knows – “I like to fish. I caught a 34-inch redfish from the river.”
Nickname(s) from teammates or friends – “Freak Show”
Game film: Devine’s Hudl tape
In case you missed it:
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.