By Craig Haley, FCS Executive Director
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Maybe Pat Devlin's true calling will be as a movie reviewer someday.
The way the Delaware quarterback picks apart his own skills while watching game film is even better than how he picks apart opposing defenses on Saturday afternoons.
It's getting harder for anybody to find fault with Devlin's game.
"He loves the game, he prepares like no one I've ever seen," Delaware coach K.C. Keeler said. "He just loves to watch the video. I love watching and my offensive coordinator, Jim Hofher, go back and forth with the recent video Pat has looked at and the recent video that Jim has looked at and what they both saw separately."
By breaking down every part of his game, and continually improving his craft, Devlin has taken his play to a higher level in the second half of his senior season. He is expected to be the first FCS quarterback selected in the NFL draft in April.
The 6-foot-4 Devlin, who has thrown for 15 touchdowns and only one interception in the last five games, has helped Delaware reach the national championship game for the third time since 2003. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco came up short in his bid to produce a national title in 2007, but Devlin appears primed to take the next step against Eastern Washington on Friday night, Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas.
The Blue Hens won the NCAA Division II title behind quarterback Scott Brunner in 1979 and the FCS title behind Andy Hall in 2003. They also finished as national runners-up in 1974 (D-II), 1978 (D-II), 1982 (FCS) and 2007 (FCS).
Devlin, a likely third-or fourth-round draft pick in 2011, has fended off the expectations and pressure that go along with being part of Delaware's outstanding lineage of signal-callers. This season, he has completed 239- of-350 pass attempts (68.3 percent) for 2,812 yards and 22 touchdowns with only two interceptions, accumulating a passer rating of 155.37 which third- best in the FCS.
Keeler believes Devlin's accuracy and intelligence separate him. Above all, Devlin has worked hard to turn himself into a complete quarterback.
In Five-a-Side - In the FCS Huddle's monthly feature of "five questions, five answers" with an influential person in the division - Devlin talks about what has made Delaware's season so special.
Let's kick off:
TSN: What have you enjoyed the most about this season?
PD: What haven't I enjoyed? The guys have been great, the coaches have been great, especially recently with the (Delaware) student section really just stepping it up. It's just been fun all around.
TSN: Your team has been balanced from day one this season - offense, defense, special teams. What does it say about a team when it can do that?
PD: I think it goes back to the leadership that we have on the team. We have 17 great seniors and everyone expects - whether it's offense, defense or special teams - hey, you need to do your job, and if you do your job we'll be OK.
TSN: Following Joe Flacco (as a Delaware starting quarterback) makes comparisons inevitable. What do you think of the comparisons?
PD: I don't really care. I don't listen to them and it doesn't really matter to me.
TSN: You've focused all along on this season, this particular team. But what have you improved to help where you're headed NFL-wise in the future?
PD: I know that I've helped the team by ball security and not turning the ball over. And I think that's the biggest thing.
TSN: There's a 20-day layoff for your team heading into the championship game. Is that a positive or a negative?
PD: Huge positive for us, we need it. You know, from hamstrings to calves to whatever, it really will help us out a lot having (time) off. It will be great for the guys.