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Douse & Stevens Off to the ACC Coastal

By Jim Johnson
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Together, Sayyid Stevens and D’Quan Douse formed one of the most formidable edge rushing duos in the entire state.

Day one of the early signing period was like an ACC raid on Savannah, Georgia.

Islands High School linebacker put pen to paper and is headed to Florida State. Savannah Christian center Dylan McMahon and Benedictine defensive back Jakeen Harris are taking their talents to NC State.

However, a pair of the top ACC signees from the area hail from the same school: Calvary Day.

Together, Sayyid Stevens and D’Quan Douse formed one of the most formidable edge rushing duos in the entire state.

The former compiled 69 tackles, 15 for a loss, and six sacks in 2018. The latter added another 46 tackles, 11 for a loss, and three sacks.

As symbiotic a pairing as it was devastating, the teammates will now take their friendly rivalry with them to the Coastal Division, Stevens signing with Duke, while Douse is off to Atlanta to play for Geoff Collins’ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Obviously, football aside, these are two of the elite academic institutions in the nation. Both cited that as one of the leading reasons for their respective decisions.

“Why not Duke?” Stevens began. “I mean, it's a top institution. It's considered an Ivy league of the South. You get the best of both worlds in the ACC and top level academics. I want to study sports psychology. I know how it feels to be injured and stuff so helping kids and pro athletes psychologically means a lot to me and I feel like I can be pretty good at that.”

Douse thanked his experience at Calvary Day, stating, “off the field, just being in the school we were in is a lot of one one one connection you can have with the teachers to better help understand and mature. You have great relationships with the teachers and on the field it's amazing what we've been through the past four years with the coaches and the players who have played with us. We just had a great learning experience and playing experience as well.” He added that his interest in the engineering program especially piqued his interest.

On the field, and in the classroom, Stevens and Douse are elite.

“I'll be playing like Linebacker,” Stevens confirmed, “and, honestly, Duke football is getting pretty good so I'm confident in my decision to play football there. Coach Cutcliffe is an awesome person and we talk all the time. He is very personable and we can relate because he is from down south too, so he understands everything down here.”
Cutcliffe knows a thing or two about linebacker development as well, having coached Patrick Willis at Ole Miss and more recently contributing to Joe Giles-Harris emergence as one of the top defenders in college football.

On the flipside, whereas Cutcliffe has been a bastion of consistency at Duke, Georgia Tech has undergone a recent coaching change, from Paul Johnson to Geoff Collins. Nevertheless, Douse’s commitment was unwavering.

“When Coach Johnson announced his retirement it was a bit of a shock to the family,” he explained. “I mean, we were really looking forward to playing under him, but when we got the news that Coach Geoff would be hired it was really relieving knowing that we would be in good hands. From what I heard and from the meeting that we had, it was a really big relief.

“It will be a 4-3 mixed with a 3-4 so I could still play end on the 4-3 or the interiors on the edge of a 3-4 just where ever I need to fit,” he continued.

The talent and production speaks for itself, but, in their own words, each described what they believe they can bring to the table for their new teams.

“They are getting a guy that's really explosive and quick on the edge when I need to be,” Douse told the Yellow Jacket faithful.

Douse addressed Blue Devil nation, “You're going to get a fast, physical player who loves coming off the edge. I am very explosive and I just like getting after the ball.”

From Savannah to Durham and Atlanta, Sayyid Stevens and D’Quan Douse just made the ACC Coastal a little bit of a scarier place for quarterbacks. With the grades to match their respective games, Stevens and Douse are the total package.

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP