Friday, February 09, 2007

Rise from Obscurity | by Pat

It's probably safe to say that Taylor Dever is the least-known player in the current recruiting class. Even the official ND Signing Day release is rather light on information about the California offensive lineman. The truth is, Dever was inconspicuous all through the recruiting cycle...until the middle of his senior season at Nevada Union High School, when all of a sudden offers started to pour in.

For those who wonder what turn of events trigger late flurry of offers like this, in Dever's case it was thanks to a local TV announcer.

So last fall, while going over game film in preparation for a Comcast SportsNet broadcast for a high school game, Lamb couldn't stop raving about the left tackle from Nevada Union. Formidable and ferocious, he was Taylor Dever.

"I thought, Oh my God, look at this kid!" Lamb recalled. "I thought, That's the best tackle I've seen in my 10 years doing high school games. He's big-time."

Big-time with little notice or fanfare at that point.

Lamb tracked down Dever's father, a mountain of a man himself at 6-foot-4, after that Nevada Union-Del Oro broadcast -- one in which Lamb asked producers and camera techs to track Dever extensively -- and raved about the kid's upside.

At that point, Tom Dever said his son had generated a sprinkle of interest. Before long, it was an avalanche, thanks mostly to Dever's skills and 6-6 size, but also partly to the benefits of modern technology and the media.
Recruiting's often a matter of serendipity, especially for a lower-profile recruit; ultimately, it comes down to having the right person see you play at the right time. In Dever's case, that TV broadcast on September 22nd turned a high school kid with no college offers into a top prospect, with offers from around the country.