Humble, athletic, fast and a true versatile football player who can play multiple positions. These are all words that describe Pitman's Devan Bass.
Bass, who was one of the area's most explosive playmakers during the 2016 season, has decided to embark on his collegiate career at Modesto Junior College with head coach Rusty Stivers, after making the commitment official last Wednesday.
“I didn't have any offers and I heard MJC was doing well so I decided to go there. I am going there for sure. I like their program over there,” said Bass. “Playing college ball is a dream for me.”
“We want to recruit the best, most athletic players possible and Devan can play at both sides and the great thing with college is you work on one position,” said Stivers. “We've been in touch with him for some time and we went last week to talk about our plan and had a great visit with him.”
Bass is expected to carry the load for MJC in 2017 heading in as a true freshman.
“It is easier to transition into offense at the running back position, so that is where we are now, just excited to have him in our future,” said Stivers. “Big schools like corners, he can play there but he commented he wants to play running back.”
Running back was a position that seemed to come natural for Bass—as did all the others.
During the fall of 2016, Bass rushed for 1,036 yards on just 125 carries and averaged 8.3 yards per carry. He also caught 19 passes for 398 yards, averaging 20.9.
He was the catalyst for a Pitman Pride team that was chasing history and tied the program's most wins in a single season (10).
The Pride also won their first nine games of the season for the first time in school history.
“Honestly, this past season felt great. I thought we were going to take it all the way, but Turlock stopped us at the end of the regular season so I was disappointed about that,” said Bass.
Pitman ended the regular season at 9-1, and captured a victory in the first round of the Division I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs over Monterey Trail, 35-21. In that game, Bass rushed for 161 yards on 12 carries while scoring a pair of touchdowns.
The Pride managed to get their 10th win of the year, tying the 2011 team, before falling to the eventual champions, St. Mary's, in the second round.
“Being part of Pitman history felt great. The team was the main source for the history,” said Bass. “Without them, this would never have happened.”
Bass also tallied a total of 19 touchdowns on offense with 1,597 total all-purpose yards.
“I want to accomplish so many things at MJC, like Jay Green, so colleges from D-I or others can pick me up,” said Bass. “I hope I can start for the team at MJC. I hope I can help them go into the Championship.”
MJC football finished last season with an 8-3 record, including 5-0 in the National Valley Conference.
Coach Stivers also made it official that they are committed to Turlock High quarterback Danny Velasquez — if he chooses to play for the Pirates, pending other scholarship offers.
“We focused on quite a few guys but Danny and Devan were on top of our list,” said Stivers.
Bass has always had a dream of playing not just collegiate football, but professional. He knows that the effort and work needed to achieve such a feat includes surpassing his already incredible talent and perhaps reaching a new level.
“My goal is going into the big leagues. I always wanted to go into the big leagues since I was a kid, to play professional ball,” said Bass.
“I will go to a four-year hopefully after my two years at MJC,” Bass added. “I'm starting there early, so I can get out early for my two years of junior college and play for a bigger Division.”