It was a pretty good summer for Georgia Tech guard Shamire Devine, and he’ll tell you himself.
“Got my driver’s license, went to MomoCon, chilled, got a lot of running in,” Devine said last Friday, check-in day for the Yellow Jackets.
Devine is an intriguing young man, if for no other reason than he attended MomoCon, which is a convention for fans of video games, Japanese and American animation, comic books, comics and tabletop games. It is not where one typically finds college football players, but most college football players can’t build computers, which Devine can do. (He is a computational media major.) Devine is a little different and doesn’t run from it, which is one reason why I enjoy covering this team. There’s kids on the team with a wide range of interests and talents beyond football.
At MomoCon (held at the end of May at the Georgia World Congress Center), Devine said he played in a few video-game tournaments, including Dance Dance Revolution and Mortal Kombat. The rather remarkable thing is that Devine – 6-foot-7 and somewhere “close-ish” to 335 pounds –reached the second round of the tournament for Dance Dance Revolution, which, for the uninitiated, is a video game in which players try to match a succession of prescribed dance steps in time with the game.
Devine downplayed the quality of his competition, but a win is a win. It speaks to the considerable agility Devine possesses for someone his size and partly why coaches would love to have him on the field. He has All-ACC and possibly All-American potential if he can work his body into shape to play consistently and also to not put undue stress on his joints.
Devine said he has been eating well, with a diet heavy in chicken and tuna. He said he tries to eat his last meal before 6 p.m., “so I don’t go to sleep with food in my belly.” I asked him if he was making his meals by himself.
“If you mean by popping it out of the can and putting it in the microwave, yeah, I make it myself,” he said.
If Devine can plug in the hole left by All-American Shaquille Mason and play at a high level, it would be a significant gain for the Yellow Jackets. If coaches have to look elsewhere, the options include redshirt freshman Gary Brown or possibly shifting around tackle Bryan Chamberlain (who worked at guard in the spring) or moving center Freddie Burden to guard and playing Andrew Marshall at center. These options are hardly the end of the world, and are indicative of the increasing depth the Jackets have on the line, but it would seem that the line would be better suited with keeping Chamberlain and Burden in their spots.
Devine’s progression will be one of the more noteworthy aspects of the preseason.