Georgia Tech

Shamire Devine stepping up his play for Georgia Tech

Shamire Devine (71) and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets face Clemson on Saturday.
Shamire Devine (71) and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets face Clemson on Saturday. Georgia Tech athletics

Shamire Devine is starting to live up to the big expectations that followed him to Georgia Tech.

Devine was named the ACC’s Offensive Lineman of the Week for his efforts against Wake Forest. He is the third Georgia Tech player to earn that honor this season.

Devine, a 6-foot-7, 380-pound left guard, had 10 knockdown blocks, many at the point of attack, for an offense that rushed for 427 yards in a 38-24 win over Wake Forest.

It has been quite a turnaround for Devine, who was highly recruited player when signed out Tri-Cities in East Point. But Devine has struggled with his weight and conditioning, issues that have limited the time he has been able to spend on the field.

“He’s had a challenge with his weight from the first time he got here,” head coach Paul Johnson said. “He’s fought through and maintained and is probably right now playing the best he’s played since he’s been here. That’s encouraging, and hopefully he can stay healthy and stay out there.”

Devine played 13 of 14 games as a redshirt freshman, missing only the Clemson game with an injury. He played 11 games as a sophomore and 13 as a junior, starting seven games at right guard. This year, Devine began the season without really knowing how much he would play. He was even referred to as a spot player.

But Devine played well in the opener against Tennessee and has continued to put together his best season. He exited the game early against Pittsburgh but was back the next week. He has become a full-time contributor.

Now Devine is again being looked at as an NFL prospect. That’s not bad for a young man who started playing football because his mother made him.

“I think he’ll have an opportunity to play in the NFL if he wants to,” Johnson said. “He’s got all the parameters they’re looking for, and he’s got good feet. I think he’ll have the opportunity. It’ll be up to him about what he does with it.”

Devine’s increased durability has been vital due to the lack of depth on the line this season. The Yellow Jackets played only five offensive linemen last week against Wake Forest. They have played at a high level as guard Parker Braun was ACC’s Lineman of the Week against Pittsburgh and center Kenny Cooper won the honor against North Carolina. The Yellow Jackets average 372.8 yards rushing per game, third-best in the country.

There may be some relief with the likely return of guard Brad Morgan, who has missed the past two weeks with an injury. The next backups will be sophomore Bailey Ivemeyer at tackle and true freshman Connor Hansen at guard.

Kickoff set for Virginia

The Georgia Tech-Virginia game Nov. 4 will begin at 3 p.m.