From walk-on to starter, Rice Football freshman corner Tre’shon Devones has a bright future at South Main and his journey is just getting started.
At risk of stating the obvious, scholarships to play college football don’t grow on trees. There are limitations on how many can be handed out. There’s plenty of red tape when it comes to eligibility in genreal. For those reasons, most every locker room contains a mix of scholarship players and those paying their own way, commonly referred to as walk-ons.
Walk-ons can become scholarship players, but it takes work. They have to prove themselves, to the coaching staff and to their peers. Ari Broussard knows what that’s like. So do Matthew Sams and Brendan Suckley, Austin Conrad and Evan Marshman. Rice football true freshman Tre’shon Devones was one of the six former walk-ons to earn scholarships this year. And he found a way to expedite the process.
Broussard, who earned a scholarship in the spring, along with Sams, Suckley, Conrad and Marshman who earned scholarships this fall, spent at least a full year with the team prior to earning their scholarship. Two of those, Broussard and Suckley, changed positions before they found their niche. Devones earned his spot in three weeks.
The condensed timeline isn’t a knock on the former five, but rather offers a compelling case for Devones’ unique talents. Devones had offers from schools in the Pac-12, ACC, Big 12 and AAC programs but instead walked on without a scholarship at Rice. In many ways, he bet on himself.
“I knew coming in that I was going to work really hard,” Devones said. “So every chance that I got, I just tried to go my 100 percent, 110 percent at that.”
Devones had put in the work, but he had no idea the scholarship was coming. He found out during a team meeting after fall camp when his picture flashed up on the screen. “I had to tell my mom first,” he admitted, going on to praise the staff and his teammate for helping him get to the point where he was deemed worthy of a scholarship to play Rice Football.
His 110 percent put him on the field in the Owls’ season-opening game against Army. On that night, he registered his first collegiate tackle. He was a consistent special teams ace, filling in on defense several times over the weeks that followed. Before missing the Southern Miss game with the flu, Devones had been one of four true freshmen to play in every game this season.
Devones knows as well as anyone his role with Rice Football will be dependent on his ability and effort. That’s why he’s set an honest, straightforward goal for the 2019 season: “Be the best Tre’shon Devones I can be, that’s my goal every day.”
Coach Mike Bloomgren, who saw enough in the true freshman to put him on scholarship prior to the season, isn’t surprised. “It’s so earned,” Bloomgren said of Devones’ starting assignment. “It was earned incrementally the way we want it to be and every game opportunity has been good. I think we’re seeing the start of a great career in Tre’shon Devones… It’s really exciting.”
On Saturday against Marshall, Devones started his first college game. He registered his second pass break up, the second-most of any corner on the roster. The “best Tre’shon Devones” is already one of the better defenders on the team.
If that’s even a fraction of his ability, Rice football fans are going to want to take note of number 19. His best is still to come.Become a member and join The Roost. Stay plugged into the latest happenings in Rice Football with practice notes, player interviews and recruiting updates. We are your No. 1 source for Rice Athletics News.
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