DeVondre Seymour gets Dawg dad's tips

ESPN 300 offensive lineman DeVondre Seymour (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) hesitated just a bit too long when asked how he does while practicing against his adoptive father, NFL All-Pro defensive end and former Georgia Bulldog Richard Seymour.

“We do sometimes go 1-on-1,” Seymour said. “It is pretty exciting when you get out there and go against him. We are about the same size. But going against a NFL player feels pretty good.”

And the results?

“I ... don’t do that good but I get after it. If I beat him it would be amazing.”

That it would, especially considering DeVondre has limited experience on the offensive line and has played for only three years. He started the game late, but -- as his being ranked No. 288 in the ESPN 300 indicates -- he has picked it up quickly.

“I started playing football my freshman year,” Seymour said. “And I played defense. So last year was my first on offense.”

Seymour says he has thought about going back to defense, and with his dad as an instructor the possibility is appealing. But he feels his future is on offense, and he is focusing on the upcoming season.

“I am looking forward to getting back to it,” Seymour said. “I think it is going to be a good year. My goal is to go out there and be better than I was last year -- to dominate. I can’t remember how many pancakes I had last year but I want to get at least a couple more. I want to go out there and protect my quarterback and opens holes for the running back.”

That type of protection has garnered Seymour a long list of offers from top programs.

“Georgia and Tennessee are recruiting me the hardest,” Seymour said. “South Carolina and UNC as well. The Trojans contacted me a couple times, too. I am not that close to deciding yet. I am narrowing it down. I’ll probably take my visits during the season or after the season. I will visit Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Auburn and one more.”

The massive lineman has already taken some visits.

“I went to Tennessee twice and it felt pretty good,” Seymour said. “I went to Georgia and since my dad played there everybody knew me. It felt like home. He would like me to go there but he says it is up to me.”

The Carolinas also have their appeal for Seymour.

"I really do like South Carolina,” Seymour said. “I think I will go down there first. It is a really good school. I checked it out -- the academics and the tutoring and all that. As for UNC, I haven’t been up there yet but I plan on going up there with Donnie Miles (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett). He is already committed there and wants to show me around. He is pushing me a little bit.”

No one pushes DeVondre around unless he lets them. He has learned more than just football from Richard in the years since the former All-American, his uncle, adopted him.

“It is a pretty amazing story,” Seymour said. “I used to be with him when I was a kid back at home in South Carolina. I was around and would talk to him. He took me in and when I was 13 adopted me. I moved to New England with him for a couple months and then we he got traded to Oakland we moved back to Columbia, S.C. I played ball there for a year and that is when I transferred to North Gwinnett. He taught me to do what I've got to do and go hard.”

That lesson extends to the classroom, where all the relocating the Seymours did found DeVondre falling behind in his classes. After his move from Columbia, the 6-foot-7, 308-pound senior had to attend summer school to stay on track academically.

“The classes here were pretty much the same but a little harder,” Seymour said. “It wasn’t what I was expecting it to be. But I got all caught up in my classes. I took a math and a history class. I passed both of them and my GPA is up now. So everything is going pretty good.”

Now that he is caught up, Seymour may try to enroll in college early.

“It is a possibility,” Seymour said. “I am thinking about it. It is something I have to look into.”

That is quite the turnaround for the big man with the little nickname.

“Most people call me ‘Scooter,’ ” Seymour said. “I honestly don’t know where I got it. I have had it ever since I was a little kid. It was a childhood name and I just brought it up here with me. I will carry it into college.”

When asked whether he got the moniker for being fast, Seymour laughed and said, “I doubt it, but maybe.”