West High senior Devontae LaneBy Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Everyone seems to have the same questions about Devontae Lane.
Is the West High senior a basketball player in college or a future football star? Is the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Lane an offensive or defensive player. Is Lane a receiver or a running back?
For West High coach Garrett Hartwig the answer to those questions is simple – he’s all of them.
“Devontae is a gamer,” Hartwig said. “He’s a guy that I think whatever the season is that’s what he’s into, he loves competing more than anything.”
A little more than a year ago the only question people had about Lane was where he would play basketball at in college.
Lane helped West High to a state title in basketball as a freshman and averaged 12.9 points per game as a sophomore on the Trojans state semifinal squad.
Last fall Lane took up football and quickly emerged as one of the top wide receivers in the state snagging 49 passes for 810 yards and six touchdowns.
“I just try to put 100 percent effort into everything,” Lane said. “I try to put everything I can into each sport.”
After averaging a career-high 13.7 points during his junior basketball season last winter Lane picked up where he left off on the football field.
He caught 10 passes for 90 yards in the first three game this season before a rash of injuries forced Lane to make the move from receiver to running back.
Since the switch Lane has proved what Hartwig and the West High coach already knew.
“Devontae was a receiver but we always knew he might be the best tailback in the state,” Hartwig said. “That is slowly but surely coming true.”
In five games since taking over as the feature back Lane has rushed for 479 yards and five touchdowns.
Lane is averaging 8.4 yards per carry and has two 100-yard performance in five games at running back.
“Whatever is best for the team wherever I can help the team most will be my favorite position,” Lane said. “That’s even if I’m blocking that’s fine with me as long as it helps the team.
The production by Lane has helped West High (6-2) win three straight games to move within striking distance of the Class 4A playoffs.
West High would clinch a playoff spot with a win over Ottumwa (0-8) in its regular season finale and a Cedar Rapids Prairie win over Cedar Rapids Kennedy or if Kennedy wins by less than 12 points.
Lane has averaged 80 rushing yards per game and scored five touchdowns during the Trojan’s current three-game winning streak.
He’s very skilled, very tough and we are lucky to have him playing football,” Hartwig said. “The best thing is he is a team guy and he’s more excited to talk about his teammates than he is about himself.”
Lane isn’t just a weapon on offense.
He ranks fifth on the team with 28.5 tackles from his safety spot and leads West High with three interceptions.
“Devontae is very naturally gifted and a hard worker so he is a great player,” West High senior Oliver Martin said. “He can help the team almost anywhere on the field. He’s just a great player.”
Lane’s versatility has caught the attention of college coaches.
He holds an offer from Eastern Michigan and recently took a visit to Iowa State.
Lane is plenty familiar with the Cyclones. He has previously visited the campus as a basketball recruit.
“It was exciting,” Lane said of the visit to Iowa State for the Baylor game. “I visited there for basketball so when basketball coaches saw me there they were like what are you doing here?”
Lane isn’t concerned about his future just yet.
First he wants to help the Trojans secure a playoff berth and after reaching the state basketball tournament each of the last three years, has his eyes on helping West High earn a trip to the UNI-Dome for the state football semifinals.
Then Lane will focus on basketball season where the Trojans bring back three starters from last year’s state runner-up team.
Sometime during that stretch Lane plans to sit down and discuss his future.
“I don’t really know right now,” Lane said. “I’m going to sit down with all my coaches and my mom and everyone in my family and talk about what they think would be better for me and I’ll take my visits here and there.”