Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

East Lake DB stays one step ahead of competition

East Lake DB Devin Abraham, who leads the Eagles with six picks, is always preparing for his next opponent.


East Lake DB Devin Abraham, who leads the Eagles with six picks, is always preparing for his next opponent.

EAST LAKE — The destruction of Port Charlotte was less than two hours old, and Devin Abraham had already turned his attention forward. The East Lake defensive back quickly headed home to watch film of Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer in preparation for Friday's Class 7A state semifinal.

Abraham, a senior, is such a meticulous student of game film that he often has his own theories on how to take on an opponent by the time he meets with coaches to go over the game plan.

"Even if we haven't loaded film for the players, Devin will go home and find something of the opponent on YouTube," Eagles coach Bob Hudson said. "You end up talking to him like he's one of the coaches because he has such a high football IQ. But that wasn't just handed to him. He's got that through a lot of hard work."

Abraham's intellectual approach is reminiscent of his father, Donnie Abraham, a former Buccaneers and New York Jets standout and current Clearwater coach.

"I've always told Devin how important it is to develop the mental aspect of the game," Donnie said. "Everyone is a great athlete, but that mental part is what can separate you from the rest.

"Devin watches film on his own, though. I never had to make him do it or hover over him about it. I only provide my input if he has a question on something or seeks my advice."

Devin has always imagined a route that would bring closer to the path his father followed. He tagged to practices and games during his father's nine-year NFL career.

Devin has always been aware of his father's success but never overwhelmed by it. The Abraham family often has golf outings or goes to dinner with Ronde Barber.

"My dad still keeps in contact with some of the former Buccaneers," Devin said. "I'll get to chat with Derrick Brooks every now and then or hang out with Ronde with my dad. That was something I was used to growing up."

Devin has never attempted to mimic his father's style. Still, the comparisons were inevitable, especially when Devin started playing tackle football in sixth grade and coaches immediately inserted him at defensive back.

"I didn't really set out to become a defensive back," Devin said. "I think the coaches just put me there because that's the position my dad played and figured it would be a good fit."

Though he has followed the pedigree, Devin has tried to step out of his father's shadow. When he was a freshman switched from No. 21, the number his father wore in the NFL, to No. 23.

"I've always tried to be my own person, and I wanted to set my own path," Devin said. "I picked the number because it was the same day as my birthday."

This season, Devin had the chance to join his father at Clearwater when Donnie took over as coach. Devin chose to stay at East Lake, where he has helped the Eagles remain undefeated (13-0), set the school record for victories and play in the state semifinals for the first time.

"My dad was perfectly fine with me staying at East Lake," Devin said. "He knew we were building up to something special."

In the past four years Devin has developed into a tireless player with an inquisitive mind. Those attributes matched with his skills makes him special.

This season, Devin has a team-high six interceptions. He is just as dangerous with the ball in his hands as he is defending passes, returning four of those picks for scores.

Devin's value extends beyond the secondary. He also is a special teams demon with eight blocked punts or field goals, two of which have been returned for touchdowns.

"Devin is the leader for us," Hudson said. "He gets into position and puts himself in the right spot to make big plays. That's been huge for us this year."

East Lake DB stays one step ahead of competition 12/04/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 11:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pitching on no rest backfires for Erasmo Ramirez, Rays

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — After battling through a 61/2-hour affair Sunday in Minnesota that was the second-longest game in franchise history, Rays officials were quick to decide that even though Erasmo Ramirez had just worked the 15th and final inning, they would stick with him to start Monday's game in Texas.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers, comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    The Rays had good reason to have faith in RHP Erasmo Ramirez starting Monday after closing Sunday based on his resiliency, versatility and efficiency. But, for whatever reason, he just didn't pitch well and got knocked out in the third.

  3. Rays journal: Dugout bench becomes bed for Logan Morrison at end of long night

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays found creative ways to get through the physical and mental fatigue of the 6½ hours they spent playing — and ultimately winning — Sunday's game in Minnesota.

    Corey Dickerson drapes towels over an exhausted Logan Morrison in the dugout during the 15th inning of Sunday’s marathon victory.
  4. Rays at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, Arlington, Texas

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Rangers

    8:05, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 2: Nick Martinez #22 of the Texas Rangers poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium on March 2, 2015 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
  5. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]