SEFFNER – Two seasons at Lennard helped Devin Black, but life changed for him this past year at Armwood. The 2018 quarterback says he feels like this is now his team.
The 6’2″, 170-pounder really thrived under center as the Hawks finished 10-2 and made a Class 6A region semifinal appearance. They lost 18-15 to a Lake Gibson group that ended as the state runner-up.
“It was heartbreaking for me because I wanted to send my seniors out with a bang,” Black told Prep Sports Scouting. “I feel like Armwood needed that piece of the puzzle. Darrian McNeal wasn’t a true quarterback, but he was a hell of an athlete.
The fact that we didn’t win states made me more humble. When I got here, I was worried about winning states, not taking it one game at a time. It felt like I was in the Armwood program for three to four years.”
Last Friday, offensive coordinator Evan Davis was announced as the new head coach for the Armwood program. The longtime assistant takes over for 27-year Hawks head coach Sean Callahan, who stepped down following the spring jamboree on May 18. Callahan led his group to two state titles.
Black said off-season workouts had been going smoothly before the promotion of Davis. He pointed to Davis and defensive coordinator Kyle Worden as two guys who have been vocal throughout.
The Hawks started their off-season program last Wednesday. For Black, he’s looking to set an example for the young kids after not being a part of these practices a year ago.
Black is aiming to reach the 185-pound mark here in the near future.
He called the transfer to Armwood, a big adjustment. Black totaled 2,616 yards (1,770 passing, 846 rushing) and 28 touchdowns (20 passing, 8 rushing) as a junior.
“I feel like at Lennard, I was the guy on campus while at Armwood there were multiple guys on campus,” he said.
I was making plays on my own at Lennard, but my first couple of games at Armwood I was doing too much in my opinion. I was running all over the place, I could have given the ball to Brian Snead or Erin Collins to do that.”
Black says his intelligence as a quarterback, leadership and overall ability have improved since arriving at Armwood.
He has 2018 running back Brian Snead as a key backfield piece while 2018 wide receiver Markeis Colvin, a transfer from Carrollwood Day and 2018 wide receiver Warren Thompson are two guys Black pointed to as playmakers.
In terms of his relationship with Snead, the two are locked in together.
“Our lockers are next to each other, he’s [Snead] one of the closest people on the team with me. Weekends I’m hanging with him sometimes,” Black said. “I feel like I have a close relationship with everybody.
If I move, he move. We have that unison and that level of confidence now. I know what he expects out of me and I expect out of him.”
This whole football vision started at age 7 for Black. He was a safety and quarterback in his first year. After that, he played quarterback exclusively.
Black pointed to his presence in the pocket and his ability to keep the play alive as his biggest strengths. He’s seen his ability to read defenses improve, but he wants to be even better as a senior in that regard.
He holds six offers currently from USF, FAU, Tulane, Indiana, Iowa and Louisville.
Black says Louisville and Indiana are showing the most interest. He plans to take visits to both programs either this month or in July. He says Louisville quarterbacks coach Nick Petrino texts him every other day.
Oklahoma, Baylor, Mississippi State are showing interest in Black as well.
The NFL is his ultimate goal. Black simply loves the game of football, something he called his passion. He plans to study either business or management in college.
“It’s taught me a lot, maturing at a young age and being around my brothers,” he said.
Black has been on the rise since arriving at the varsity level as a freshman. The move to Armwood has only made him more determined and seasoned. Look for him to flourish as a senior leader and earn plenty of more major Division-I offers.
Favorite players to watch – Lamar Jackson, De’Anthony Thomas, Tavon Austin, Deshaun Watson, Malik Davis and Devan Barrett
Playlist before games – YFN Lucci, Keyshia Cole “Love”, Waka Flocka Flame “Oh Let’s Do It”, Mariah Carey
Favorite movies – White House Down, Taken, Stomp The Yard
Favorite TV shows – Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Have and the Have Nots, Law & Order SVU, Love & Hip Hop Atlanta
Fun fact that you think nobody knows – “I’m the baby of the family. Me and my dad are the babies of the family. When I get in trouble, I usually get the benefit of the doubt because my dad has been through it.”
Nicknames from teammates or friends – “D-Black”, “Black”, “Winston”
Game film: Black’s Hudl tape
Photo credit: Tampa Bay Times
Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.