Penn State transfer takes the reins of UD offense

    It’s week one of preseason training camp for the University of Delaware football team – and officially, the first week for Penn State transfer Pat Devlin as the Blue Hens starting quarterback.

    It’s week one of preseason training camp for the University of Delaware football team – and officially, the first week for Penn State transfer Pat Devlin as the Blue Hens starting quarterback.

    Devlin, a product of Downingtown (PA) East high school, brought his game to Newark last spring after three seasons at PSU. He was named UD’s number one QB after spring drills wrapped up in April.

    Now, after those spring drills and unofficial workouts during the summer, he’s settling in to his role as the leader on offense.  “I feel very comfortable.  The guys have been great since I got here.”  Devlin said. “We just need to keep working hard in practice, you know, and doing what the coaches tell us. We need to get in the film room, see what we’re doing, see what we’re doing wrong.”

    Devlin did more right than wrong in the spring, culminating with a terrific performance in the Blue-White spring game.  Devlin completed 24 of 31 passes for 301 yards in that contest.  UD coaches and fans would love to see those type of numbers in games this season, especially after Delaware managed just 17 points and 144 yards passing per game last season, when the Hens finished 4-8, their worst record ever.

    But Devlin is quick to shrug off any suggestion that, before he even takes his first snap, he’s already the best part of an offense that has many question marks.

    “I don’t really feel that way.” said Devlin.  Maybe the offensive line has a little ways to go, but I feel they’ve done everything they needed to do in the off-season.  They’re always the ones staying after, getting extra hits on the bag, and doing all kinds of stuff.  The wide receivers are playing great.  I’m the one who hasn’t been here.  I’m the one who needs to prove himself.”

    Head Coach K.C. Keeler disagrees, at least when it comes to leadership. “That just his DNA.  This is what he does.  It such a natural thing for him.  He’s so natural with the guys.  We’ve only had him for, what’s it been, 6 months, but seems like much longer.  Pat just bring such a calming influence, and he’s such a good decision maker.  And I think that’s where it starts.”

    The Blue Hens hope  it finishes with a big rebound from last year’s disappointing campaign.  Just a week into his first camp, Devlin believes  he and his teammates are on their way.  “We’re all working hard.  They feel like they have a lot to prove.  They could have had a bad outlook, and been moping around all off-season, saying we had a terrible season,  but we’ve come back great.”

    The Hens hold their first pre-season scrimmage Sunday at Delaware Stadium, starting at 4:15 PM.  Delaware kicks-off its 2009 season September 4th at home against West Chester.

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