Finalizing their prep career on the big stage is a dream of high school football seniors across the country.
For Jahnari Devoe of Allendale-Fairfax High School, that dream became a reality Dec. 15 in the prestigious 76th annual Shrine Bowl at Gibbs Stadium on Wofford College campus in Spartanburg.
Devoe represented the best of the best of the Carolinas' gridiron talent pool.
This season Devoe emerged as one of the top safeties in the state.
Devoe help lead the Tigers to an undefeated season. He racked up a team leading four interceptions, including one for a touchdown in the process.
Going into the game, Devoe said he wanted an opportunity show the coaches and scouts who he was-and what he was about on the football field.
"Coming from a small school like Allendale-Fairfax, the biggest thing was to show them that I belong," Devoe said.
"I had a very good week of practice and now I just want to go and show the scouts what kind of player I can be at the next level."
Devoe accomplished his mission and came away with a victory as the South Carolina Sandlappers defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 23-19. Devoe was one of the more active defensive players for the Sandlappers, finishing with seven tackles, including five assists.
South Carolina Shrine Bowl defensive back coach Don Frost of Christ Church Episcopal High School said Devoe is an intriguing prospect.
"Devoe is a very talented player with good closing range. He does real well in run support." Frost said.
Devoe was hampered by a foot injury that he suffered in the second quarter. Devoe, however, didn't let the injury cause him to miss any snaps in the second half.
"I think I jammed my toe making a tackle. I bothered me a little, but it wasn't enough to keep me out the game," Devoe said.
Devoe's biggest moments in the contest were making open field tackles on receiver Pharoh Cooper and Kalif Phillips of the Tar Heels. Both players had a seemingly open path to the end zone on the plays.
"Playing safety, you are that last line of defense. So that's part of the job," Devoe said. "Overall, it was a very good experience and I really enjoyed playing with these guys."
Jahnari Devoe is the son of Melvin Devoe and Lisa Williams of Allendale.
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