Following in Joe Flacco's footsteps, Pat Devlin became the latest high-profile recruit to transfer out of a Division I-A program and onto the roster of Division I-AA Delaware when the former Penn State quarterback committed to the Blue Hens yesterday.
Devlin, a former high school all-American at Downingtown East High, gave coach K.C. Keeler his pledge after a visit to the Newark campus over the weekend, according to a source close to Devlin.
With this move, the redshirt sophomore is hoping to repeat Flacco's success at Delaware. A transfer from Pittsburgh, Flacco wound up being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of April's NFL draft.
Flacco lost a year of eligibility because Pitt would not sign off on his scholarship, but Devlin is expected to have two seasons with the Blue Hens starting this fall.
A message left at the Devlin home was not returned last night.
Delaware spokesman Scott Selheimer said the team could not comment on a potential transfer until he is enrolled at the university. The winter session begins Jan. 5.
"I would not be surprised if he ended up there," said Mike Matta, Devlin's coach at Downingtown East. "But I haven't heard that."
On Dec. 10, Penn State announced that Devlin would be leaving and would not be with the team for the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. He had been the backup to junior Daryll Clark and had grown frustrated with the prospect of having to wait until his senior season before starting. Lions coach Joe Paterno made the decision that Devlin would not travel to Pasadena to play Southern Cal.
Devlin arrived at Penn State as one of the most acclaimed prospects in Southeastern Pennsylvania scholastic history. He was redshirted as a freshman, sat behind Anthony Morelli the next year, and engaged in a close competition with Clark through the last off-season.
But Clark won the job just before the opener, and Devlin sat for most of the season while Clark led the Lions to an 11-1 record and a Big Ten title. Devlin threw for 459 yards on 25-of-47 passing with four touchdowns and no interceptions this season.
Devlin has a good chance of starting at Delaware. The Blue Hens finished 4-8 this season. Junior quarterback Robby Schoenhoft, who transferred from Ohio State last year, was ineffective.