One of the other 19 quarterbacks from around the country that participated in the NFA’s first annual OpC4 camp held in Tampa from January 1-4, admirably called Tyler DeSue “a freak of nature.”
The eighth-grader that many consider has the best all-around athletic package from the class of 2018 has definitely been turning some heads, and not just with the guys he plays with or camp coaches.
This past summer, before he even began the eighth-grade at Princess Ann Middle School in Virginia Beach, VA, DeSue received a college offer, but not just any college offer. The offer was from the highest public academic institution in his home state, the University of Virginia.
“Honestly, it was very surprising to get that offer,” said DeSue, who since summer has grown an inch to 6-feet, and put on a little weight to tip the scales at 170-pounds.
How does a boy so young react to something so huge?
“What went through my head was I need to stay humble and hungry and not sit back because I have an offer,” said the Honor Roll student that admits he “can do even better.”
What’s interesting is DeSue didn’t even start out as a quarterback.
“I was always the biggest kid on the team so I played everything but quarterback. Then, in the sixth-grade the coaches encouraged me after seeing my arm and I decided to try something new.”
Besides a college offer, DeSue has been impressive enough to have been one of two middle-school QBs to get an invite to the OpC4 camp – and he didn’t disappoint anyone.
This is the third camp DeSue has worked with Will Hewlett, the NFA Director of Player Development.
“DeSue has proven though film and camps that he’s not just one of the greatest athletes in the 2018 class, but a talented quarterback. Mature beyond his years, you will see why he already has an offer from UVA and will get many more,” Hewlett remarked.
What did DeSue think he had to prove at the camp, and what about competing with older boys?
“I felt I needed to show I’m not just a little kid, to exceed my level to do better, and to show some leadership. Being with older guys is nothing new to me. It felt really good to get to know all the guys.”
NFA Founder and President Darin Slack liked what he saw.
“Tyler is a unique talent as an eighth-grader. Having already been offered by a D1 school, it’s clear to see why they believe he is worthy of that offer now. He can really spin the football, and his athleticism is impressive. It’s just a matter of where he will play college ball, not if.”
How have his classmates reacted to all this fanfare?
“At first I didn’t even mention it. I don’t really parade around about it because I don’t want to sound cocky,” said DeSue, who in six games this past season for the Princess Anne Panthers passed for around 400 yards and five TDs and rushed for approximately 500 yards and 10 touchdowns. All-in-all he accounted for 104 of the team’s 132 points.
And what does he feel are his best attributes?
“My dual threat capability and my leadership on the field.”
Its not surprising that at a camp like the OpC4, where the level of talent is so high, leadership is high on the list of things DeSue got from the experience.
“I think I did pretty well. The camp helped me a lot, but the most important thing is it defined leadership for me like it’s never been defined before.”