Offensive football has been all the rage over the last few years. Football has turned from a competitive game of smash mouth and breaking wills into a science of point compilation and quarterback accuracy. No where is that more true than in South Florida high school football.
To combat the point totals that look like basketball final scores, teams need to be armed with cornerbacks that can cover receivers. That’s where a player like Devin Gaulden comes in. Gaulden does not have much experience playing high school football but he’s long on the tools needed to be a shutdown corner. Speed, quickness and tenacity are just a few of the traits Gaulden employs when rubbing out wide receivers from game plans like a wrong answer on a math test.
Until last season, Gaulden’s sport of choice was basketball. His array of skills and talent helped him excel at the guard position. Apparently hours of crouching down in front of rim attacking opponents honed Gaulden’s cornerback skills. He appeared at University School in 2009 just as green as the grass below his feet. However, his God given talent, good coaching and a will to compete helped Gaulden speed up his learning curve and transform himself into a D-I worthy prospect.
Due to injury, Gaulden only appeared in five games for the University School Suns (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) in 2009. He displayed his great potential in those contests but did not lay down enough body of work to send a rush of colleges to his doorstep.
“At this point, schools have not been in contact with me,” Gaulden explains, “but I don’t let that it get to me. I just use it as motivation because I’m definitely one of the best DB’s in South Florida.”
Nowhere was Gaulden’s potential more apparent than when he appeared at the Shuman’s National Underclassman Combine in Orlando earlier this month. It’s one of the top events for potential college prospects that takes place across the country. Gaulden put his money where his mouth is by putting up a 4.50 in the forty, 4.2 in the shuttle and the handcuffs on all of the receivers he went up against in one on one drills.
“My press coverage technique is a huge strength of mine,” said Gaulden. “I am very physical at the line and I also have good feet to move with receivers.”
Gaulden’s performance was strong enough for him to walk away from the event as the Defensive Back MVP and an invite to the Top 100 in Atlanta this summer. The Top 100 takes the best of the best from the various combines across the country and brings them to one location to compete alongside and against each other.
It’s only a matter of time before the colleges come knocking on Gaulden’s door looking to secure his services. It’s a moment he has prepared for but he’s more focused on advancing University School’s team goals for 2010.
“My primary goals are helping my team in any way I can because last year was a disappointing season,” said Gaulden. “My individual goals are playing in all games this year and simply dominating opposing wideouts but my team goals come first.”
The 5’10” 175 lb. Gaulden says he watches a lot of film on Darrelle Revis of the NY Jets. Not lost on this is how much Gaulden resembles what many feel is the best cornerback in the NFL right now. From the physical line of scrimmage play, the explosiveness and even the slightly bowed legs, Gaulden has picked a good man to emulate. Putting together Revis-like film will certainly bring Gaulden to scouts attention and while he says he will play for anyone, there a couple of schools he really likes.
“Since I was younger, I’ve always been a huge fan of the University of Florida. I watch all their games and my room is filled with UF (Florida) posters. The home town school UM (Miami) is a favorite of mine as well.”
With Gaulden’s plans to dominate the opposition, aid University to a strong 2010 season and set up a desolate island of his own for opposing receivers, perhaps a knock on the door from the big time schools in and out of Florida is in his future.
Author: Chad Wilson
Chad Wilson is a college football recruiting expert and creator of the GridironStudsApp which allows high school football players to gain exposure to college football coaches and fans. Wilson is a former college football player for the University of Miami (92-94) and Long Beach St. (’90-’91) and played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks (’95). He is also a former youth and high school football coach for over 15 years. Wilson’s older son Quincy plays in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts and his younger son plays cornerback for the University of Florida. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.