FORT WAYNE – The oversight of Football Bowl Subdivision teams will be Saint Francis’ gain.
East Noble graduate Drake DeMuyt was deemed too short to play Division I, so the Cougars scooped up the 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive lineman.
I really anticipated he was going to have some Division I offers, East Noble coach Luke Amstutz said. All of them said he was two inches too short. He is 6-3 and is a big dude. He had a lot of opportunities at partial scholarships, but he can flat-out play. He is big but he is so agile, and he is the smartest football player I have ever coached. He just gets the whole picture of what is happening. He is all the things you would want a football player to be.
Before DeMuyt begins his career with Saint Francis, he will finish his high school time today in the annual match between the North and South All-Stars in Indianapolis.
It is discouraging, DeMuyt said of the bigger schools talking about his lack of height. They are talking about if I was two inches taller than I could have gone D-I. It is something that I can’t control that has an effect over whether I am getting a NCAA D-I scholarship or an NAIA scholarship. I felt Saint Francis was giving me the greatest chance to play, and I could contribute the most to Saint Francis. There are a lot of guys here that I feel like I am playing at the same level as, and I feel like I am in the spot I need to be.
DeMuyt is fitting right in with the rest of the North All-Stars.
It is just a different experience because of the high intensity and how good the players are, DeMuyt said of the week of practice for the All-Star game. All the practices are just so hard-hitting that’s it a lot of fun. It is definitely an honor. It is great that East Noble can prepare me for something like this, coming down to playing with the best in the state.
DeMuyt, a defensive tackle, had 34 solo tackles, 14 tackles for loss, a sack and an interception as the Knights went 7-3 last season.
He dominated the interior of every single opponent we played, Amstutz said. It was impossible to run up the middle against us because of him.
It was great to come into a new school and have a kid who was such an incredible leader. He was undoubtedly our heart and soul. He brought enthusiasm and energy every day. He made things easy on me my first year coming in. He will be a big difference-maker for (Saint Francis).
Off the field, DeMuyt shined as well, earning Academic All-State honors in football and wrestling and being the homecoming king and student council president.
He wasn’t the arrogant, all-about-him kid, Amstutz said. That’s so rare to have a kid everybody respects.