tampabay.com

Crusaders quarterback bound for Cali

Proving how committed he is to the West Coast offense, Tampa Catholic quarterback Dickie de Lama literally is moving there to play in one.

By JOEY KNIGHT
Published May 12, 2007


TAMPA - Proving how committed he is to the West Coast offense, Tampa Catholic quarterback Dickie de Lama literally is moving there to play in one.

de Lama, who threw for 25 touchdowns and ran for 11 as a TC senior, announced Friday he has signed a scholarship with College of the Sequoias, a two-year community college in Visalia, Calif.

Nationally known for cultivating major college talent, COS' staff includes former longtime NFL lineman Irv Pankey and ex-Florida prep coaching veteran Andy Siegal, an acquaintance of TC coach Bob Henriquez. Siegal recruited de Lama.

"It suits me the best this moment in time, " said de Lama, a two-time Class 2A all-state second-team pick.

"I'm trying to be redshirted; I want to mature and gain some weight. And they promised they'd give me exposure to every major Division I school in the nation. They receive coverage."

de Lama 6-foot-4, 195 pounds possessed sparkling academic qualifications (including a 3.97 grade point average), not to mention a pass efficiency of nearly 70 percent, and had received overtures from several Division II and III programs.

Division I Florida Atlantic also showed interest, Henriquez said, but never made a formal offer. As a result, de Lama opted for COS.

According to the school's Web site, 22 players from the 2006 Giants team signed with four-year schools in February, 10 of them with established Division I squads. Among the recent COS alumni: current Ole Miss and ex-Tennessee quarterback Brent Schaeffer.

"I think (de Lama) has a dream to play Division I football and feels as though he has the capabilities, " Henriquez said. "Frankly, I think a number of schools missed the boat on him."

Henriquez called the Giants offense "very similar" to what de Lama operated at TC.

"It's a wide-open spread offense, a shotgun offense, " Henriquez said. "They throw the ball probably 80 percent of the time, which isn't as balanced as we are, but it's certainly similar to what (de Lama) has done and I think Andy feels he can be successful."

Joey Knight can be reached at (813) 226-3350 or jknight@sptimes.com.