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Trib HS Insider Q&A: Ford City's Devan Willyard

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Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Ford City's Devan Willyard (left)) attempts to break free from Southmoreland defenders in the first half of Ford City's game against Southmoreland held at Russ Grimm Field in Alverton on Friday, September 21, 2012.
Top high school sports
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:30 p.m.

This past summer, Ford City senior Devan Willyard traveled from one football combine to another in an effort to generate college interest.

His offseason activity, specifically a stellar showing at a combine in Canton, Ohio, in late June, earned him a spot in the second annual Blue-Grey All-Star Classic on Jan. 12 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

But the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Willyard began to worry about his college outlook after defenses contained him during the first two weeks of the season. He knew schools such as Kent State and Akron — institutions he recently visited — would desire better numbers.

Fortunately for the senior, the struggles were short-lived. In a Week 3 overtime win over Summit Academy, he rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns and caught five passes for 92 yards and a score. He thrived again during last week's win over Southmoreland.

Willyard, a running back and defensive back, leads the team in rushing (53 carries for 382 yard, five touchdowns) and receiving (18 catches for 228 yards and three touchdowns).

Q: How'd it feel to finally have that big performance in Week 3?

A: After the first couple games and not doing too much, it was a very big relief.

Q: How is the recruitment process going? Isit stressful?

A: I just don't want anything on my mind during the season. I don't want to be thinking about going to college, like where I'm going and how it's going to be. I'm just worried about this season because the team needs me. So I can't be distracted.

Q: Have you put together highlight tapes? How does that work?

A: I made one myself from my sophomore year. And then I sent my junior year games into my recruiting website, (National Collegiate Scouting Association), and they made like a professional one.

Q: When you send it to someone else, do you get to critique it before it's finalized?

A: No, they make it, and that's how it is. So far it's been good.

Q: What's one sport you don't play but you wish you did?

A: I quit baseball last year. I kind of miss it. I played my whole life. I wish I could go back to it — I want to. But I'm torn between that and javelin because last year I did so good in javelin, and I want to work on that.

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