Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
March 14, 2013
Bayside High School (Virginia Beach, VA) has been home to numerous college prospects, and lately a couple of five-star recruits on the national scene in Taquan 'Smoke' Mizzell and Quin Blanding. The talent in their football program runs deep, even with some players who'll find collegiate homes at the Division I-AA level, more commonly referred to as FCS these days.
One player going that route will be Class of 2013 wide receiver Devante Batey, who despite only playing one season in a Marlins uniform, has accepted a scholarship offer to play his College Football in-state for Coach Latrell Scott and the Virginia State University Trojans.
A three-sport athlete that also participated in track and basketball, Batey considered such other schools as North Carolina Wesleyan, UNC-Greensboro, Ferrum and Hampden-Sydney.
"I chose Virginia State because the coaching staff is changing the program around, Coach Taylor and I have a good connection, plus it's the best fit for me offensive wise and academic wise," Batey told VirginiaPreps.com.
"The coaches were cool. Of course, that's how every coach is going to be to a recruit, but our connection was strong and they told me how it is, and the players there love the coaches."
This past season, Batey helped the Marlins to an 8-3 overall record and the program's fourth consecutive postseason appearance in the Eastern Region Division 6 playoffs. Starting on both sides of the ball, he made his presence felt with three interceptions on defense, plus was second on the team in receiving.
Batey's finest offensive showing of the season came in a 62-42 win over Kellam when he caught four passes for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and added a third score on a 68-yard reverse.
At the next level, VSU is getting a lanky wideout with the ability to run away from defenders.
"I said all year he was going to make some big plays for us and he did, showing his athletic ability and speed that he has," remarked former Bayside Head Football Coach Darnell Moore.
"He's got good hands, moves well and runs well. He's going to turn some eyes, simply because you'll look at this kid and say 'okay, he's not overly impressive,' but then you watch him run and your opinion changes. Watching him run the 40, through about 20 yards he was just okay, and then at 25 yards you can see him shift gears. He beat Smoke in the 100 [meters] by just a tad, so he's moving."
With the Trojans, Batey will be re-united with a few former Bayside players in Jaivon Smallwood, Gene Holloman and Darion Thomas, all three of whom play wide receiver or defensive back. A bond with them should help the transition process greatly.
"Having Smallwood, Gene and Darion there played a big role. Smallwood and I talk about that a lot. Darion is like a brother to me; he told me that I could make an impact there and they always told me it is home and they want me there," said Batey, eager to progress his skills in the college game.
"I'm going to work hard right now and work even harder when I get there. I can always improve my routes and my feel for the game in general. I look forward to majoring in social work, staying focused on what I need to do and getting my degree."
Matthew Hatfield has covered Eastern Region Football since 2005 for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related info and updates. To contact Matthew, please e-mail email@example.com, and don't forget to listen to him on the VirginiaPreps.com Hour every Saturday at 11AM on ESPN Radio 94.1 and watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.