Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Grand Prairie junior emerges as one of the area's top receivers
The hardest one to learn was the corner route.
Just two summers ago Devante Lacy was still trying to learn how to run routes as a slot receiver after moving to the position his first year at Grand Prairie. And he said the corner route was the one he struggled with the most.
That is hard to imagine now as Lacy is the primary contributor to the Gophers offense and a constant target of double coverage.
But the junior was hardly a natural - at least not in his mind - when coach Gary Bartel made him switch from running back to receiver his freshman year.
Lacy had played running back since he was 4 and, was not pleased when Bartel had him change positions to fit his version of the Run and Shoot.
But Bartel and wide receivers coach Roderick Wright saw his potential from the start.
"I can remember when he was a freshman," Wright said. "I was saying to myself, 'That guy's going to be good.' I could see the strength in his feet then."
Lacy said it was an entire summer and half of his first varsity season before he got his route running down pat. But it did not take that long for him to be sold on the position.
"After the second game, I started racking up yards," he said. "I was like, 'I'm going to stick to it and get better.' "
That he has done as Lacy ranks second among area 5A receivers in receptions and third in yards. He's tied for third in touchdowns.
Even more impressive is that Lacy accounts for more than half of the Gophers' catches and receiving yards despite seeing constant double teams.
But that's what a 15-catch performance and a 12-catch performance within the first four games will do for you.
It also draws the attention of programs such as Texas, Oklahoma and LSU, which have already sent him letters.
But Lacy continues to work just as hard as he did when defenses and Football Bowl Subdivision Schools weren't zeroed in on him.
And that hard work is not lost on teammates such as quarterback Tommy Alvarez, who looks for his favorite target on every play but has one in particular he knows he can find him on.
"The corner," Alvarez said. "We run the corner route, Devante's going to be there."
School: Grand Prairie
Height/Weight: 5-8, 165
Coach says: "He can get off jams, he's got great body control, great balance, he's strong, he's got great hands." - Gary Bartel.
Notable: Lacy has 64 receptions, 908 yards and 10 touchdowns this year. ... He has received letters from Baylor, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech.