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Devlin adjusts to new role at Delaware
Although Pat Devlin will be suiting up for a different program this season, his outlook remains the same.
“The NFL is the ultimate goal,” the new Delaware quarterback said. “But not everyone is lucky enough to get there – I realize that.”
Devlin, who decided to transfer out of Penn State last December, said the choice to leave was nothing more than a business decision.
He threw for 459 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in his final season at Penn State and didn’t join the team at the Rose Bowl. Instead, Devlin said he was told to clear out his locker late in the fall semester before the Rose Bowl, although he said he isn’t sure on the exact date.
The signal caller said he arrived on Delaware’s campus in January and will play in his first spring game as a Blue Hen at 6 p.m. Friday.
With Devlin at his new school, that leaves Daryll Clark as the clear-cut starter for Penn State this season.
Devlin said he has not talked with Clark since leaving Penn State, but Clark said late last month during a press conference that he is trying not to relax despite being unchallenged for the starting job.
Because Devlin said he never thought about going to another Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) school because it would require him to sit out a year, he said his final choices came down to three Football Championship Subdivision schools: Delaware, Massachusetts and Towson.
He said he was “blown away” by Delaware’s campus when he visited it before Christmas. From initially seeing the brick front campus buildings to the business college, Devlin said that everything is going great.
When it came to choosing to transfer, Devlin, who said he had a fine relationship with Penn State quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno, said it took a couple days to gather all his thoughts.
“I sat down after the season with my family and we talked about my goals and what I needed to achieve those goals,” Devlin said. “I felt Penn State wasn’t the place for me anymore. I got a second chance at Delaware.”
Devlin said when he talked with Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, he told the coach he thought Penn State was no longer for him. Although Devlin said Paterno told him he thought it wasn’t the right decision to transfer, he said the coach didn’t want to hurt his career.
The Blue Hens’ quarterback said Paterno ultimately gave him a release so he wouldn’t have to miss a year of eligibility. Devlin can play for the Blue Hens for two seasons.
Although Devlin will be adjusting to a new team this spring and summer with the Blue Hens before the season starts, he isn’t the only one.
This February, Jim Hofher was named Delaware’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. His most recent job before the switch was at Bowling Green, where he served as the quarterbacks coach. Before that, he was the head coach at Buffalo.
Hofher said the Blue Hens have just two quarterbacks in for spring, Devlin and Sean Hakes.
The assistant coach also said head coach K.C. Keeler has made no declaration as to which quarterback will be starting this season. Hofher said both signal callers have rotated through the offensive units almost equally and both have been productive thus far.
Still, Hofher acknowledges Devlin’s strengths.
“He’s a guy with good size and he’s a very bright quarterback,” Hofher said. “He’s a quick study and has good mobility. He rarely makes the same mistake twice and has some experience. All those things are very positive.”
The Downingtown East High School graduate follows the somewhat similar pattern of Joe Flacco, who starts for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Flacco transferred to Delaware from Pittsburgh and led the Blue Hens to the NCAA Division I Football Championship in 2007.
Despite the similarity of both quarterbacks transferring to Delaware from larger programs in Pennsylvania, Devlin said Flacco’s story didn’t really factor in during his decision as to where he wanted to go. While Devlin has been busy these last few months by getting adjusted to a new campus, university, teammates and coaching staff, he said he has no regrets regarding his time at Penn State.
“I absolutely loved it,” Devlin said. “It was really a business decision for me. It was the best decision at the time. I’m absolutely happy with everything at Penn State.”
By Wayne Staats
Collegian Staff Writer