Brock Dean’s high school football experience was anything but typical.
The 6-foot-1, 217-pound linebacker practiced against several Division I-caliber players during his four years at Bishop McDevitt – a Catholic high school in Harrisburg Pa., that has produced more than 60 DI players during coach Jeff Weachter’s tenure there. Dean also dealt with television crews at practice on a near-weekly basis, and played in front of thousands of fans on Friday nights.
That college-like experience at McDevitt is one of many reasons why Weachter thinks Dean is primed for a successful college career at Maryland.
“Obviously, we’re a nationally known school. I think that will help him,” Weachter said. “Plus, some of the guys he’s gone against every day in practice for the last few years [are DI players]. That just makes you a better player. Maryland’s obviously looking for kids that are used to winning, and obviously he’s used to winning.”
Dean was brought up to Bishop McDevitt’s varsity as a freshman. He played mostly special teams during his ninth-grade year, but stepped into a starting linebacker role as a sophomore and never relinquished that spot. Weachter, who has coached five future NFL players, called Dean a “very good natural athlete” who has put on 35 pounds of muscle since his freshman year.
“You knew he understood how to play defense and would get a better understanding of the offense,” Weachter said of Dean’s ninth-grade season. “In between his freshman and sophomore year -- really every year -- he worked extremely hard at the mental aspects of the game. By the time he was done with his sophomore year, he really understood how to play the position.”
Thanks to Dean “really working hard on his game and watching a lot of film,” the future Terp was selected to be one of the Crusaders’ captains as a senior. Weachter said Dean’s leadership on the field and in the weight room proved to be instrumental in Bishop McDevitt’s success.
“He did very well,” Weachter said. “And sometimes Brock’s value to us [goes beyond] stats because we ask him to do so many things for us. Sometimes we ask him, as an outside linebacker, to step out and cover the slot man to man. Sometimes making more tackles is sacrificed because of the things we ask him to do. But I think what we ask him to do will just make him a better player at the next level.”
Dean finished his senior season as Bishop McDevitt’s third-leading tackler with 92 stops (42 solo). He also accumulated seven sacks, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, one pass breakup and one interception. Dean also rushed for a touchdown, helping McDevitt to a 13-3 record that ended with a loss to Archbishop Wood in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association AAA state title game.
Weachter said he’ll miss Dean’s leadership and his play-making ability. The versatility Dean displayed for four years under Weachter should serve him well in College Park.
“[Dean’s] highlight video just shows his versatility,” Weachter said. “He did a lot of things. Sometimes as a college coach, all they see from a high school linebacker is plugging the run, plugging the run, plugging the run. With Brock you’ll see he’s really moving in space and doing a lot of things defensively. He’s going to be able to move and do a lot of things defensively there.”