Rankings help everyone from fans to scouts see how a player measures up against competition - they show how his skills appear on paper. But, sometimes players find their worth by their ranking. A three star player is not nearly as valuable as a five star recruit. Tommy DeVito has never seen his impact on the field represented by his ranking.
He went from being ranked in the two thousands in the country with only two stars to a four star quarterback. He is the #7 pocket passer and the 135th best player in the nation. If Tommy has learned anything, it is that rankings do not always represent your abilities. He never worried about how he compared, but instead, kept his head down, battled to be better, and in the end, found himself on the list of best quarterbacks in the country.
As a quarterback, Tommy does not take the role of being the leader on the team lightly. He is extremely determined to see everyone around him reach their full potential. Whenever he and his teammates step on the field, he insures they lock in to their jobs. If everyone does their individual job, team success will follow. Tommy provides positive and passionate energy, which his team feeds off of.
Tommy’s high school, Don Bosco Prep, faces many challenges that the average high school does not incur throughout the season. Their schedule is in the top 10 hardest in the entire country every single season. Many top ranked teams, with multiple four or five star recruits, make their way to Ramsey, New Jersey, expecting a win. However, they soon learn this team is unlike most; while they may lack national recognition, they are a group of brothers determined to fight until the end to bring their school a victory.
Even with their tough schedule, they still made it to the first round of the playoffs this season, falling just short of a win. Tommy’s high school career is over. He took the field in front of screaming fans, shared pre-game and post-game moments with his brothers, and walked out of the locker room for the very last time. Looking back on the many years filled with memories, one sticks out in his mind the most – his first overtime versus Bergen Catholic. Tommy threw a post and the wide receiver was tackled on the half yard line. However, the running back was just where he needed to be and found the endzone. Touchdown.
Even though he lead his team each week against some of the top teams in the country, scouts failed to notice his impressive abilities on the field. He was left with zero offers until after his junior season, when smaller schools started extending offers. Slowly but surely, larger schools took notice. On April 16, 2016, Tommy committed to play for Syracuse University.
One of the first things Tommy appreciated when visiting Syracuse was the quality of coaches. They do not just see players as pawns to win a game, but instead truly care about each and every person on the team. The coaches hold high regards for the program.
“It’s any quarterback’s dream to play in that offense,” Tommy says.
In addition to the athletic advantages, Syracuse is also boasts competitive academics and is close to home so friends and family will be able to watch him play at the next level.
Since his commitment to Syracuse, larger schools have tried to persuade him to flip his commitment, but Tommy denies the offers.
“I said no thank you just because Syracuse is the place for me and they were with me from the beginning, not just because I got national recognition,” says Tommy.
Tommy received this national recognition over the summer when he was invited to compete in Los Angeles at the Elite 11 quarterback camp, and in the end, was one of the few selected to travel to Oregon for The Opening. Only the top 12 quarterbacks in the country made it to The Opening.
For Tommy, the best part was the camaraderie between all of the players. Even though they were all essentially competing against one another for the MVP award, they formed a brotherhood like no other. It is a brotherhood with a group of teenage guys, all the same age with the same goal.
“If you ever need to talk to someone, they are there, because no one understands it like we do,” says Tommy.
Many players like to bring their on the field success to light off the field, whether it be talking about their game winning touchdown or crucial interception, an offer they just received, or simply telling people to check out their Hudl. However, Tommy prefers to leave football on the field. Instead, he remains humble and acts like any other high school kid, not the star quarterback.
In January, Tommy will join top recruits in the country in Orlando to compete in the Under Armour All American game. This will be the last time he takes the field as a high school athlete, and he is excited to once again play with some of the top players in the country before heading off to college.
While in college, he wants to focus on becoming a better leader. As the quarterback, he is the player that everyone looks to for leadership and guidance. Tommy knows this, and wants to be the best person possible for them.
After college, he hopes to take his abilities to the highest level, the NFL. One of the biggest goals for him, however, is to build a platform to be able to share his years of knowledge with younger athletes, and help them become better players and young men.
When he is not working at his craft or school assignments, you can find Tommy trying to help others and giving back to the community. He loves working in his own community to help improve the lives of others. But, maybe the most special thing he does, is reach out to children.
On many occasions, Tommy has reached out to children fighting illnesses through social media to talk to them, learn about their lives, and try to help them keep a positive outlook. While he has a strong impact on brightening their days, they are also extremely important to Tommy and help him focus on the importance of life.
Every football team needs someone like Tommy on their roster. He is not only passionate and productive with his abilities, but also determined to help his teammates reach their full potential. With his amazing leadership, he will certainly be the quarterback every program needs. But, only Syracuse is lucky enough to have him.
Tommy’s Advice: Some advice that I have for young players is just to stay the course. There will be ups and downs in your career and you may not get the recognition that you deserve from the beginning but stay the course and keep your head down and just keep working and everything will fall into place.