Scott DeVoss has anchored Denver’s backline for the past two seasons as a standout natural under CIBER Field’s lights. As a homegrown product of Real Colorado, DeVoss’ familiarity with CIBER Field dates back farther than his class standing as a redshirt junior. DeVoss grew up on the sidelines of Denver’s pitch as a ball boy, aspiring one day to sport the Crimson and Gold, stepping on the other side of the paint.
“DU was always my first choice since I was a little kid because I was a ball boy a lot when I was like seven or 10 years old,” DeVoss said. “Once I started talking to them and received an offer, I had to make it work.”
Similar to most children experimenting with athletics, DeVoss began playing soccer at three years old, but with the introduction to additional sports like baseball, basketball, and swimming, soccer remained constant. DeVoss forwent playing his final two years of his high school season at Arapahoe High School to play in the year-round academy of his Real club team, which he captained.
After redshirting in 2014, DeVoss joined Denver’s backline in 2015 playing alongside Kortne Ford [currently playing for the Colorado Rapids] as center backs and often outside backs Reagan Dunk [selected No. 13 overall by Real Salt Lake in 2017 MLS draft] and AJ Fuller. DeVoss has started every match since his redshirt freshman campaign.
“I think the one thing that drew us to Scott at 15 or 16 years old when we first met him was his character,” head coach Jamie Franks said. “He has great relationships with the guys on his team because he never asks them to do anything he’s not willing to do himself. We could see that at a young age. Throughout the recruiting process, it was clear he was a guy of character and value that we wanted here at Denver.”
Despite the remarkable talent alongside DeVoss in Denver’s back-four, the Centennial local identified his style of play surrounding his teammates which was integral in DU’s esemplastic success to follow.
“My first two years when I was playing Kortne was kind of the vocal leader and seen as the main leader in the back and Reggie [Reagan Dunk] was on my other side. Those two were the leaders and I was just there supporting them behind them. Now since they are gone I feel like those are big shoes that I need to fill. I feel like I have done a good job of becoming a vocal leader. Obviously there is still a long ways to go, but that’s just the next step we need of leadership and development with this team. I need to take control of the backline. It’s a big learning curve, but I still have another year and I feel like I’m getting there.”
While DeVoss makes playing his center back position look effortless, he spent most of his career in the center midfield. He attributes much of the technicalities and discipline from the middie-position to the transition that he made toward the backline, “I played center-mid pretty much my whole life. Once I got into high school I started to play center the back, I also played some outside back. I think that position helped me in center back because it made me pretty good on the ball as a midfielder and now in the back I don’t get the ball as much, but I try to be clean when I do.”
With a 6-foot 160-pound physique, DeVoss is a player with a brilliant IQ for the sport. He maintains composure in high-pressure situations, he is deceptively quick when necessary, his first touch is nearly flawless, his ability to read the field and make instantaneous decisions on the ball is immaculate, and his vertical jump is lethal; so much so he has been dubbed the nickname, “Salmon.”
“The Real coach Lorne [Donaldson], he called me that and I guess Jamie heard about it and brought it in so all the guys call me it. All the guys hype me up and have that belief in me that I have a good chance of winning the ball and scoring. It’s exciting when we get attacking set pieces and I do actually like the nickname.”
Growing up a fan of the Pioneers and having the opportunity to suit up for the program as well as, to shatter previously set records drawing attention to the program on the national level is a sparse occurrence that DeVoss is fortunate to have. Denver continues it’s quest to reach the NCAA tournament in Philadelphia, opening up Summit League conference play against Eastern Illinois at CIBER Field tonight at 7 p.m.
“I’m confident individually and I’m confident collectively as a group,” DeVoss said. “It’s the first conference game and I mean conference is the most important part of the season just to win. We take pride [in] winning the regular season conference and winning the Summit League tournament so we’re hoping for five years for both of them so we can host it next year. There’s a big a big opportunity for us because it [winning the Summit League tournament] is an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament and the way the season has been going we don’t really know how the at-large bid is in our favor. We play these guys every year [Eastern Illinois] and it’s always a fight so I’m excited.”