Thursday, August 28, 2008

Devlin Not Happy, Neither Am I

The news that Joe Paterno named Daryll Clark as Penn State's starting quarterback in the opener was no surprise. Clark is older, has more experience and the Penn State staff really likes him. But you really have to wonder why a kid highly regarded as one of the best quarterback prospects in the country as a high school senior, Downingtown East's Pat Devlin, hasn't seen the field and won't be under center for Penn State's first snap of 2008.

In a very interesting article by Bernard Fernandez of the Daily News, Devlin expressed his frustrations.

"I don't know what the feeling is. Maybe it's disappointment. It's probably a lot of feelings mixed into one," Devlin said yesterday in his first comments to the media since Paterno informed Clark and him, as well as fringe candidate Paul Cianciolo, on Monday night of his decision to go with Clark in what likely was the tightest quarterback race in Happy Valley since Rashard Casey and Kevin Thompson split time during the 1999 season.

"You work so hard for something, you feel pretty good about it and the next day they tell you you're not going to start," Devlin continued. "There's still frustration . . . If they put me on the field a little bit, I guess that's what I got."

Those are some troubling comments from a highly touted quarterback, who originally committed to Miami, considering there were rumblings of Devlin considering transferring after last season. I know a prominent Downingtown alumn close to Devlin who said the Nittany Lions quarterback was considering transferring to Delaware last year so he would not have to sit a year to play.

Now, with Clark getting an extra year of eligibility next year that he has every intention of using, the redshirt sophomore Devlin will have to bide his time. Unless, of course, he plays well enough Saturday to make Paterno at least let him split time with Clark this year.

But considering he has already considered transferring before, these comments aren't too reassuring:

Might Devlin entertain thoughts of transferring if he believes his crack at starting is getting further away instead of closer?

"Nobody's really asked me that," said Pennsylvania's all-time high school passing yardage leader, not really addressing the question. "I don't expect to be hearing it in the next couple of days, either."

So has Devlin spoken to anyone about how he feels about what appears to be at least a temporary setback?

"We talked that night," he said of a telephone call to his father, Mark Devlin, a Penn State graduate. "[It was] regular fatherly stuff."

Anyone else?

"I got more important things to talk to my friends and teammates about than that," Devlin said.

I just hope Devlin can find a happy medium, get on the field this year, and become a very good play-caller for the Nittany Lions. The kid has a world of talent, and he should get the chance to showcase. Hopefully in Happy Valley.

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