Cover Story: FBCA's Dever Plays with Chip on Shoulder
BRADY DEVER WOULD APPRECIATE A MOMENT OF YOUR TIME. THE FORT BEND CHRISTIAN ACADEMY ALL-STATE SENIOR QUARTERBACK HAS SOMETHING HE’D LIKE TO GET OFF HIS CHEST.
“A big part of what private school kids deal with is a lot of (colleges) don’t want to take a chance on them because it’s not 6A football,” said Dever, who transferred to FBCA from Class 5A Richmond Foster after his freshman year. “But I feel coming here has made me a much better person and a much better man.”
Dever chose to come to Sugar Land because of the academics. It has paid off. In August, Dever committed to play football and baseball for the Ivy League’s Brown University. He also wanted a chance to play sooner. Dever’s trainer, former NFL quarterback Sean Salisbury, advised him that colleges pay attention to the number of high school starts made, and how early.
“My junior year, I was so much more comfortable on the field because I already had 10 starts as a sophomore,” said Dever, who, barring injury, will have at least 33 high school starts once it’s all said and done. “And now going into my senior year, the game will slow down even more.”
But the move did not come without a semblance of disrespect. Dever threw for 4,052 yards and 62 touchdowns in helping FBCA to the TAPPS 5A State Semifinals last year. He completed 64 percent of his passes and threw just five interceptions in 353 attempts.
Entering the 2022 season, Dever has a good shot finishing in the state’s all-time leaders in passing yards, touchdowns and completions. Of his 23 career starts, 17 have been wins. And, yet, the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder still feels unappreciated.
“I feel that in a lot of different ways,” Dever said. “I can say how many yards or touchdowns I threw for, or how far we went, and the knock is, ‘Oh, well, you go to a private school’. But a lot of kids and coaches that would say that, I feel we’d also go put up 40 or 50 points on them. Eleven-on-11, we can compete with anyone.
“A lot of these private school kids are looked down upon and don’t get looked at. If (FBCA senior receiver) Bryan Domino was at a Katy, for instance, he’d be a five-star because of the things he can do with the ball in his hands. (FBCA senior receiver) Braylon (Gardoni) is another one.”
It’s the nature of the beast. Private school competition simply does not have the gravitas of public-school competition. But Dever and FBCA are trying their darndest to show they’ve got what it takes. What Dever does have, however, is a legitimate shot at something very few high school athletes ever get a chance at. That’s a State title.
The Eagles were close last year. Dever feels they’ll be even better this season. Dever’s team goals are 50 points per game and 7,000 yards of offense. FBCA averaged 44 points last year and finished with 6,345 yards of offense. In his three years at FBCA, Dever said this year’s skill players are the best he’s been around. That’s saying something.
“I don’t care about personal records or stats or numbers,” Dever said. “I want to win State and leave with a ring. That’s the real goal. If the stats and numbers are there, that’s great. But when I look back on playing high school football, it’ll be about whether I won a State Championship or not.”