It is becoming a cliché that D-I schools love athletic guys who they can bring in and mold into special ball players. When an athlete brings the versatility to play a lot of different position the table he becomes even more valuable to colleges. Defensive end/tight end Devin Mahina (6-6, 225, 4.7) from Upland, Calif., is one of those type of players.
Mahina was the only underclassman to be selected all-league on both sides of the ball. He was second-team all-league as a tight end, but the first-team guy, Oregon State bound John Reese was on the same team.
That's right Mahina backed up the player who earned first-team honors. What does that tell you about his ability as a tight end.
The kicker is he may be a more valuable as a defensive player.
"On the defensive side of the ball Devin could play the three tech or five tech," Upland coach Tim Salter said. "He is fast enough to contain or we can stand him up and have him drop in coverage."
"Devin is lanky and has long arms but he plays low so with his long arms gets good separation and keeps blockers off him," Salter said. "He is also very tough to pass over because of his frame."
"On the offensive side of the ball, Devin has great hands as a tight end," Salter said. "He does a great job getting open and catching the ball in traffic."
"Devin is a hard working young man who is taking it seriously to increase his speed," Salter said. "He is working on his speed and quickness with the track team."
"This is Devin's first year competing on the track team," Salter said. "He wants to have a quicker start, he's already pretty good, he just wants to get better. That's the kind of young man Devin is."
Mahina has already received his first offer from BYU. USC has requested tape and has invited him to their junior day. He was just at UCLA's junior day this past weekend.
Arizona, Oregon State and Utah are also showing interest in Mahina. BYU the school that offered may have the inside track since he is of the LDS faith.
Mahina is a solid student who carries a 3.4 GPA and will take his test in April. He will be an early qualifier.