HAVERHILL — Long and thin, Jaylin Deveau didn’t exactly ooze physical greatness as a Whittier Tech freshman.
But Whittier Tech football coach Kevin Bradley saw something special that caught his eye. Even then, he knew.
“Every time I saw the kid, this skinny kid, he was carrying a gym bag,” said Bradley. “I knew his work ethic was special, even then, and you see it in what he’s filled out to.”
Now a 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior, Deveau, of Bradford, cashed in on all that hard work officially yesterday, signing his national letter of intent to play on scholarship at Sacred Heart University.
“I’m so happy,” said Deveau, whose final decision came down to either Sacred Heart in Fairfield, Conn., or Wagner in New York City. “Sacred Heart costs about $49,000 a year. I’ll be getting about $40,000 from them.”
Deveau projects as a tight end at the Division 1 level, and Bradley says that his future is bright.
“We used him in so many different ways, and he made some incredible jumps year to year,” said Bradley. “He went from running back as a junior to a flex tight end as a senior. The change in him as amazing. He became a devastating, punishing blocker. He leaps off the screen in his highlight film.
“Now, he’ll be focusing in on one spot, he’s bound to make another big leap or two.”
Deveau, who is only 17, celebrated at home yesterday with his mom Nicole, his sister and his grandparents, with whom he lives in Bradford.
“She’s so proud of everything I’ve ever done. She’s been there at every football game I’ve played,” said Deveau.
“She brags about me on Facebook and everything. She’s told more people than I’ve told.”
Playing and studying down in Fairfield County will also offer an easier opportunity for Deveau to continue to build a relationship with his father.