IRVING, Texas -- Switchblade.
It's the nickname for 2013 Ole Miss signee Devante Kincade, a dual-threat quarterback from Dallas (Texas) Skyline who earned the overall MVP award at the 2012 Dallas Elite 11 camp and made his way out to the Cowboys facility on Saturday to help provide some perspective to the campers about what it takes to succeed at Elite 11 and underneath the bright lights during the fall.
The nickname is a nod to Kincade's ability to slice up a defense, an attribute belied by his classification as a dual-threat quarterback -- he's just as comfortable working from the pocket or keeping his eyes downfield to make plays while scrambling as he is making defenders miss in the open field.
Here's what 247Sports had to say about his performance last year:
The overall MVP of the camp as awarded by the instructors competed with a lot of moxie and commanded a presence around the field on a consistent basis. Kincade stepped up his performance as the day went on, hitting on several deep balls down the sideline with precision late.
Elite 11 coach and ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer is still a huge fan of Kincade, even a year later.
"He's a thermostat guy and he was so awesome at this thing last year, so awesome throughout the process," he said on Saturday. "He's a guy that makes everybody better, no matter what situation he is in, he makes the players around him better. He has a high work capacity and a thirst to learn -- he's the complete package."
Dilfer talks a lot about "thermostat leaders," a part of the Elite 11 process that focuses on more than mechanics and assesses the mental make up of the participants.
"We're looking for guys that change the environment with their presence," said Dilfer. "When you play quarterback -- high school college, especially the NFL -- a lot of bad stuff happens. There's lulls and you can't allow that to drain you. You constantly have to bring energy to the situation -- that's why I call them thermostat leaders.
And the Ole Miss Rebel is a quarterback who exemplifies those traits perfectly, a big part of the reason why he punched a ticket to the finals last year.
Kincade truly lives those ideals off the field, too. He drew some attention on Signing Day when he sent a cover letter to the Ole Miss coaches along with his LOI that highlighted many of the attributes that Dilfer likes so much:
To: Coach Freeze
Coach Warner, and Coaching Staff
Today is National signing day and as the quarterback of this class, I feel like I have to lead by example. Today I commit to lead in practice, on and off the field, in the classroom and in everything I do as a Rebel. I will give my best at all times as a student and as the quarterback by studying the playbook, executing the offense, and doing all I can to get us to Atlanta and securing the National Championship. God has blessed me to be the QB for the best recruiting class in Ole Miss History. I do not take that lightly. Today February 6th is when it starts, by getting up earlier than I have to be the first one to send in my National letter of Intent! I am an Ole Miss Rebel and by the grace of God, I can do all things through him who gives me strength! Mr. Switchblade DPK let us go to work!
DeVante P. Kincade
An unusual move for an unusual quarterback, one who appears to have the intangibles to succeed at the next level,e even if he doesn't have ideal size.
Intangibles are part of the complete package, after all.
Elite 11 Profile: Skyline QB Devante Kincade (via ESPN)
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