Redondo Beach, Calif. -- Surrounded by 23 of the top quarterbacks in the class of 2017, Syracuse Orange commit Tommy DeVito seemed completely unfazed. The Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) product exuded confidence at this weekend's Elite 11 competition at Redondo Beach Union High School. He spoke briefly with TNIAAM after day one:
"(I want) to prove that I'm one of the top 12 (quarterbacks)," said DeVito, when asked on Friday about his goals for the Elite 11.
"I think I proved I'm among the top 12. My group was real good, but I think I was at the top of that."
When asked about what he'll work on, though, he showed himself eager to get better:
"I probably want to work on more accuracy with the football. I'm pretty accurate, but there's always room for improvement. I'm always just learning something every day; learning from other players. These are the top 24 quarterbacks in the country. You can always learn something new."
At the close of Elite 11 yesterday, the event's counselors named him "most likely to play early" -- a designation that's equal parts a compliment to the work he put in all weekend, and a commentary on Syracuse's inconsistent quarterback play since the departure of Ryan Nassib following the 2012 season.
It's also a large part of his reasoning (and determination) for playing at Syracuse. He told TNIAAM about his commitment process before heading out to Elite 11:
"I was in Coach Babers' office with my parents, my brother, my cousin and my quarterback coach along with Coach Babers, Coach Lewis, and Coach Reynolds. It was a conversation talking about the good about Syracuse. After my mother gave me her approval, I told them I will be the hardest working quarterback they had ever seen and nobody will outwork me because I will not get denied the starting job. It was then I committed."
Again, it's his confidence that stands out. And others saw it too all weekend:
Heaped the praise on #Syracuse commit and Don Bosco (NJ) QB @tommydevito007 Friday. More of the same today. Dude is in straight attack mode.— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) June 5, 2016
Despite Elite 11 wrapping up, there's still plenty more on DeVito's plate before getting to Syracuse. Along with his senior season and goals for a state championship, there's also his own recruiting efforts to add other valuable pieces to the Orange roster.
"... Selling this offense is easy. (It) puts up a whole lot of points and we throw and run the football great," said DeVito. "I am really targeting (3-star New Monmouth, N.J. wide receiver) Eddie Lewis and (3-star Hamden, Conn. running back) C.J. Holmes."
It's great to see DeVito doing great work on and off the field, and his national acclaim may not be done just yet, either. If he meets his goal and is included among the top 12 quarterbacks this weekend, he'll be heading to The Opening Finals in Oregon. You have to like his chances a bit based on passes like the one below.
Tommy DeVito (@tommydevito007) puts a bow on his weekend with this TD pass. Gave #Elite11 coach plenty to consider. pic.twitter.com/cLpno8cvtx— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) June 5, 2016
Invites to The Opening Finals will be announced on Monday, June 6 by noon ET. While verbally committed to Syracuse, DeVito (and every recruit) is not officially a member of the program until he signs a letter of intent.