Portland High School senior football player Devyn Fuqua admits he didn’t know a lot about the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame organization before last week.
However, Fuqua recently became the 14th player wearing the Purple and White to be recognized by the Nashville Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
“I had actually never heard of the organization or the award itself,” Fuqua explained in e-mail correspondence. “I found out about the award during the snowstorm two weeks ago from a family member.”
The midstate chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame organization is one of the most respected in the country and recognizes 69 seniors and seven collegiate seniors for outstanding academic and athletic achievements.
Fuqua qualifies by those requirements as a result of holding a 3.95 grade-point average in the classroom, as well as excelling on the gridiron and holding a job.
“Throughout high school, I was able to maintain a 3.95 GPA with honors while playing football and working my junior and senior year,” Fuqua said. “I was able to do this by putting in the effort and time to get all of my work done whether it was in class or homework. I made sure to prioritize school that way I could do the best I could do.”
Fuqua contributed greatly to the Panther football program by concluding his career with more than 1400 yards and 13 touchdowns on offense while being the team’s tackler as a junior.
Fuqua has racked up many awards over the past two seasons. As a junior, Fuqua was an all-region academic scholar-athlete, won the big hits award, and received the Panther Award.
Fuqua was also voted offensive most valauble player of the Kenway Concrete Bowl at Warren East (Kentucky) High School and received the team linebacker award and offensive back of the year.
In 2020, Fuqua was all-region, offensive back of the year, linebacker of the year, voted team captain, was named the team MVP and was given the Edgar Johnson Dedication, Attitude and Leadership (D.A.L.) award.
“My high-school career was amazing,” Fuqua said. “I began getting varsity and starting time my sophomore year and was able to truly show my abilities and skill. I played fullback and switched between outside linebacker and middle linebacker. I began to truly stand out my junior year as I was able to be one of the leading rushers on the team and lead the team in tackles.
“Although my senior year was majorly affected by COVID-19, I was still able to enjoy it and make the most of it with my teammates.”
Panther head football coach Wes Inman nominated Fuqua for the award after meeting the criteria.
“Devyn was a tremendous leader,” Inman said. “He is a very considerate and intelligent young man. He worked hard, played hard and was a delight to be around each day. To me, he hit the bill to a T.”
Fuqua plans to attend Western Kentucky University this fall but has yet to decide on a major.
Fuqua was thankful for the support he has received from family, friends and coaches during his career.
“I would first of all like to thank my mom, brother, dad, both sets of grandparents, my aunt, my girlfriend, and her family,” Fuqua said. “I have been able to learn from all my coaches and teachers. All of these people have been able to have an effect on my life and help shape me into the person I am today.”
Former head coach Greg Cavanah, who coached Fuqua all four years at Portland, had nothing but praise for the senior.
“Devyn is simply one of the best young men I’ve met in my life,” Cavanah said. “He came to us as a mature person, but he is a person who understood a team concept, playing his role, and contributing as much to Portland football. You can tell when a person has a good family backing, and Devyn definitely has this. I believe he will be as big a success in life as he was on the football. Devyn was a three-year starter and someone who would pick up people around him and carried the load of the team on his shoulders. He did everything in his power to help PHS football be successful. He is a wonderful individual who I’m glad God has allowed me the opportunity to get to know.”
Fuqua will be given his certificate at school this week.
Previous winners from Portland High School include Thomas Culbreath, Jacob Gardner, Dominique Roe, Dillon Kirkham, Logan Prichard, Dylan Bostic, Jared Sprinkle, Emilio Almendarez, Drew Douglas, Hunter Felts, Michael Hussey, Cody Whitfield and James Tice.