The high school football career of Mountlake Terrace Hawks Devante Downs is over, as the senior running back learned this week he has a torn ACL.
The injury occurred at a four-day team camp held at Oregon State University in Corvallis June 21-24, said Terrace head football coach Tony Umayam. “At the time he was told it was just hyper-extended. The fact that it did not heal as quickly as we thought prompted him to get an MRI,” Umayam said, adding that the test results showed a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Downs was expected to draw plenty of attention from college scouts and the media this season as he had been identified as one of the top prospects in the state. Downs ran for 1,266 yards and 23 touchdowns last year and helped the Hawks reach the postseason for just the second time in school history.
“I just felt terrible when I heard about it,” Umayam said Tuesday. “It is so sad when such an impactful player isn’t able to go out and compete with his team his senior season.”
Though the injury will keep Downs off the field this fall, Umayam believes the 6-3, 230-pound running back will be able to return to playing football. “Even though his football playing days at Mountlake Terrace are over, I’m confident he still has a lot of good football ahead of him at the next level,” he said.
Downs had spent some of the past year visiting college campuses and entertaining scholarship offers from prospective college football programs. Downs drew interest from a number of Pac-12 schools including Washington, Washington State, Colorado, Arizona and Stanford. Downs visited the two conference schools in the Bay Area — Stanford and Cal — this past May.
The loss of Downs is a blow to a MTHS Hawks team that had high expectations, but may now see 2013 as a rebuilding year. “Obviously it leaves a tremendous gap that will take the efforts of multiple people to try to help fill,” Umayam said.
Terrace begins fall practices on Aug. 21; the Hawks open the season with a home game against Stanwood at 5 p.m. on Sept. 6, at Edmonds District Stadium.
— By Doug Petrowski