LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Playing in a game with several Rivals250 prospects, Mississippi State offensive line commit Devon Desper knew things wouldn't come easy this week in central Florida.
However, the 6-feet-4, 295-pounder from Madison (Miss.) Central has been pleasantly surprised with how he has stacked up against elite talent from across the county during practices for Thursday night's Under Armour All-America game.
"I think I'm doing pretty good - a lot better than I thought I'd do," Desper said. "I didn't really have low expectations, but I just expected everybody to be so good and for it to be a lot harder."
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For the most part, Desper, a center, has held his own against a strong group of defensive tackles, which includes the likes of four-star Georgia commit Jonathan Taylor and Alabama commit Dakota Ball.
What part of Desper's game has been solid?
"Just getting off the ball quick, getting on people and using my hands," said Desper, a three-star prospect and the state of Mississippi's No. 16 player. "I'm using my hands better. And my feet."
According to Desper, at least part of his success here has been due to the fact he came to this event as focused as he could be.
"I knew what it was going to take," Desper said. "When you're going against really good people you can't take anything off. You have to go full out."
Desper doesn't seem the least bit content. In fact, he pinpointed a few areas of his game that need to be addressed - and improved -- before he arrives in Starkville for college.
"I've got to get quicker with my feet," Desper said. "I want to get a little stronger. And get a little bigger. You can always get better."
All in all, Desper has enjoyed his experience at the Under Armour. All that's left now is to play the game.
"It's been fun going up against the best," Desper said.