Written by Ryan Wright
Working through a 1-10 season is never easy, but the good ones find a way to find the silver lining in tough times coming out the other side better than going in. That might be the best way to summarize the 2019 season for Class of 2022 Pope John XXIII quarterback Peter Delaportas. The 6-3, 195-pound, gunslinger found a way to make plays through the adversity in his second season of varsity ball with the Lions coming up with 1,496 yards passing and 12 touchdowns while posting one rushing score. His leadership, poise, knowledge of the offense, and physical talents have already made believers out of four college football programs: Boston College, Kentucky, and Rutgers Virginia Tech.
With a big offseason ahead, and recruiting visits coming up to Notre Dame and Kentucky, I sat down with the QB Hit List three-star rated recruit covering his play on the field and his growing recruiting process off it.
Peter, looking at the 2019 schedule, one can easily guess it was a trying year for you and your teammates. Through the darkness can come light. What did this difficult season on the field teach you about the game and yourself?
“This season helped me fight through adversity. Next year will be different for me and the team, we will be ready and better.”
How did the challenges of the year help make you a better leader?
“Obviously going 1-9 is difficult. I would pick my teammates up so they do not get down and tell them to keep trying hard. We will be ready for next season.”
Watching reel on you, you have a quick release and a strong arm. How have you developed your mechanics and arm strength over the years?
“My QB coach has helped me a lot Aaron Akins. We watch film and over the offseason we worked hard.”
When the rush comes, you have some moves in the pocket to escape and have the poise to get the ball downfield knowing where your guys are at in their routes. How have you developed that part of your game over the last two seasons?
“Instincts and experience. This year, experience has been a great teacher. My coaches have been teaching me everything they know.”
Throughout the season, how did your game as a quarterback improve?
“At the beginning I did alright, but the middle was rough. At the end of the season, that was better for me. I was more comfortable with reading defenses and the fast-pace of the game; it all started to slow down. I really do think next season will be crazy.”
What do you feel are the strengths to your overall abilities as a quarterback?
“I feel that I have a strong arm, that I can make plays, and I can give my receivers opportunities to make plays. My footwork is good. My mental understanding of the game will get better. I work on my footwork every day, offseason and in practice.”
This season, which was your best game?
“My last game against Mater Dei was my best, honestly.”
What did you do well to make that your best?
“I made plays. We did not come out with the win (lost 49-14), but I gave my receivers an opportunity to make plays.”
Which schools have offered you so far?
“Boston College, Kentucky, and Rutgers Virginia Tech.”
Nice. Which schools are showing interest?
“Notre Dame is showing interest.”
Have you taken any visits this fall?
“Yes. I have been to Rutgers, Boston College, and Virginia Tech.”
How did the Virginia Tech visit go?
“It went really well. The atmosphere was crazy; the fans were great. The coaches did a good job making us feel comfortable, and they fed us well.”
And Boston College?
“It went really well. The same thing. The coaches were great. We ate great food, got shirts, and we were on the sidelines before the game. The fans were great, and we were there for a great game.”
Coming up, are you planning any other visits?
“Next week we are going to Notre Dame and then Kentucky over Thanksgiving.”
That’ll be fun. With the Notre Dame visit coming up, what has you excited about the trip?
“They are ranked, they have a lot of history, and they have great players. Notre Dame is a big school, there is a lot to be excited about this visit.”
Agreed. With the offseason here, what will be the focus of your workouts?
“The focus is for me and my receivers to get on the same page. I will be working with Coach Aaron and grinding this offseason working to get better overall.”
What goals have you already set for your offseason?
“My goal is to get bigger; I want to be at about 210. I want to get faster, to improve on my physical aspects and on my off-field work.”
Peter, thanks for your time today and have fun in South Bend this weekend.
Photo credits: Tom Brennan; No. 8 Peter Delaportas