With senior Blake Slaughter set to graduate in May, D’Vonta Derricott may be the perfect piece to replace his production
Kansas State has been blessed at the middle linebacker position the past few years. When All-American Arthur Brown hit campus, the defense was transformed into a lean, mean, quarterback-sacking machine. Blake Slaughter, aware of both his position with the team and K-State’s need to replace Brown this season, offered to redshirt what would have been his final year with the team, and has been solid in 2013. And in 2014, JUCO transfer D’Vonta Derricott looks poised to continue the legacy of great play at the position.
Derricott has been on K-State’s radar for a long time now, and although today’s affirmation wasn’t front page news, it was a relief to hear that his heart still lies in Manhattan. Here is what he tweeted earlier today:
Miami, Baylor, old miss, are great schools but my heart is with kstate. I’m committed there so I’m going to stay with my choice. KSTATE
— Dvonta-Derricott RVA (@dvonta20) November 15, 2013
My assumption is that, despite his verbal commitment back in early August, most team’s previously courting him remained undeterred. And after K-State struggled to a 2-4 start while Miami and Baylor powered to top ten rankings and Ole Miss blew out Texas, those teams started hinting that Derricott would enjoy playing for a more successful program. Yet the Garden City Community College linebacker remains solidly in the Wildcat camp. Here’s The Jug’s assessment of D’vonta following his initial verbal commitment back on August 7th:
Derricott is a three-star linebacker who brings an enviable combination of speed and strength. At 6’1″ and 230 pounds, he runs a 4.45 40 and benches 330 pounds according to Rivals. He played in just eight games last year but recorded 55 tackles and an interception. The 247 Sports Composite, which averages the rankings of various recruiting sites, has him as the #1 inside linebacker in this junior college class, the fifth best JUCO player playing in Kansas, and number 25 overall nationally. With Blake Slaughter set to graduate in 2014, the inside linebacker spot will be wide open and Derricott anticipates competing for it. Additionally, standout Tre Walker will also be graduating next spring leaving open an outside linebacker spot should the coaching staff feel more comfortable moving Derricott to that position. Either way, this is an excellent pick-up for the Wildcats and should ensure another player with proven production can step up and immediately fill any voids created by graduation in 2014.