BY GENE NARDI
Blake Dever, a 2016 graduate of Wellington High School, is looking forward to making an impact at Savannah State on the gridiron this fall.
The standout quarterback had seven offers from various Division I schools but elected to attend Savannah State. “I felt I had a better opportunity to play as a freshman,” Dever said. “If I continue to work hard, I have an opportunity to be the starting quarterback.”
Dever finished his senior year as the Wolverines’ quarterback and helped lead his team to a 7-4 overall record, a finish as District 9-8A runner-up and a regional quarterfinal appearance. Dever compiled a staggering 2,787 yards passing and 31 touchdowns. He totaled 212 yards rushing with four touchdowns.
Dever’s bulls-eye accuracy was evident through the season, especially with targets such as Miami commit Ahmmon Richards, Austin Gilman and Chris Atkinson. “Those were my clutch guys to go to,” Dever said. “They had so much speed and great hands.”
Dever’s most memorable moment of the season was a near-victory against juggernaut William T. Dwyer High School. In front of a capacity Wellington crowd, Dever orchestrated a comeback from a 21-point deficit. Dever threw for two touchdowns in the final minutes to bring the Wolverines within a touchdown, 42-35, but the clock ran out as Dever brought the offense to the Dwyer 30-yard line. The thriller grabbed the attention of Palm Beach County, proving the Wolverines were for real.
To add to Dever’s accolades, he achieved all-county and all-conference first team status. Dever was also selected to participate in the Florida vs. Georgia all-star game.
Dever spent the spring training with Wellington assistant baseball coach Brandon King preparing to make his transition to college football.
He really helped me with my strength, speed and agility,” Dever said. “It was the one-on-one training that I really liked, and it really helped me increase the velocity of my throwing.”
Dever has elected to study business while he takes the field for the Tigers at Savannah State. “My passion is football, but I want to study business and stay connected to the game in some way,” he added.
He has a passion for the game and a commitment to excellence. Dever was on the sideline during the Wolverines spring game assisting with the quarterbacks during warmups. “Coaching will always be an interest to me as well, because it would keep me closer to the game,” he said.
Dever starts camp at the end of the month, and told the Town-Crier that his continued focus is the key to his future success.
“It’s different from high school football, because the team is made up of young men, not kids,” Dever said. “I told myself I must stay focused to stay competitive.”
To follow Dever and learn more about football at Savannah State, visit www.ssuathletics.com.
ABOVE: Quarterback Blake Dever takes the ball up field in Wellington’s district title game against Palm Beach Gardens last season.