Look fast. Watch for the flash. And maybe a juke and a bang! Football fans will get all of that and more when they tune in to the Devauantae Hoffman Show this season. We say that jokingly of course because he is only one of the team of talented Gresham Gophers but boy can this kid play.
Way under the radar we felt it was time to get some love to a kid like Devauntae who has worked so hard to become the best player he can be. The First Team Offensive and Defensive All Mt. Hood Conference player is on the rise with the preseason close at hand.
A look back at last year gives us a glimpse into the skills that this special kid brings to the field. In 2011 he ran for 1, 350 yards, over 20 TD's, and he averaged 6.3 yards per carry.
On defense he had 2 picks and a lot of tackles. Enough to where he was named the First Team Defensive back.
Now on special teams he was…well "Special". Anytime a kick was where he could put his hands on it he was electric. He took one kick off the length of the field to pay-dirt and 3 Punt Returns found that same fate. 4 TD's on KR is pretty nice!
Hoffman is 5'8" and 189 pounds and there is not much fat on this muscular kid who admits sports are his first love. He plays football, basketball, and runs track. But his heart belongs to that 100 yards of grass and white stripes!
"I love the game. My Heart is what I pride myself on. There have been a lot of people over the years who have wanted me to go to their school to play ball. But this is my home. Loyalty is something people lack these days and it was is very important to me," offer Devauntae after we discussed the fact that Gresham has had some struggles in recent years.
A kid that talented can tell you a little about geting pressure to move. People have asked repeatedly and he smiles and declines. That earns high marks in our book.
Because he is such a terrific athlete and is known for his 4.5 speed and nifty moves people speak about him as a "speed guy". He says while that may be true that is missing the point of what his real strength is.
"People always ask me about my speed. But that is not it…it is my strength. When contact comes my mind set is to run the guy over. And if you watch my films you will see I am hard to bring down," he said.
That is backed up by a 300 pound bench and his 525 pound squat. Those pistons in that big frame are indeed a weapon and tell the story of his game.
You would think with all that talent he would have offers and schools all over him. But things are just starting to heat up and with the Nike NFTC Camp ahead and Summer coming he hopes to break out.
We have no doubt that he will.
He could be recruited as a utility back, a tail back, a slot back, for special teams, or for defense. Devauntae has the skill set to play any or all of them. A few schools like EWU, Boise, PSU, and Oregon State are starting to sniff around.
Originally from Boise he has been living in Gresham since he was 2. He lives with his Mother and his younger brother who is also an athlete and occasionally gets out to Las Vegas to see his Father. In addition to sports and school, where he maintains a solid GPA, he helps his Grandmother out with her work at the Food Bank.
In the blood line is Uncle Dane Kelsey who had a full ride Football Scholarship to OSU but who ended up playing at WOU and is now an EMT.
We asked what makes him tick. What drives him everyday?