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All-Area MVP: Cannon DeVries did it all, and then some, for the Weber Warriors

By Patrick Carr - | Dec 18, 2021

Jonathan Chen, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Cannon DeVries poses for a photo outside Weber High School on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. DeVries is the 2021 Standard-Examiner All-Area Football MVP.

PLEASANT VIEW — The odds are pretty good that opposing football coaches on a weekly basis prioritized shutting down, or slowing down, No. 32 for Weber High in their gameplans.

If Cannon DeVries was lined up at receiver, a safety would often roll to his side of the field to help. When DeVries was at safety on defense, offenses opted to avoid his side of the field many times.

On special teams, where DeVries had shown himself to be one of the state’s best returners, teams generally chose not to kick to him and, on the few times they still did, DeVries made teams pay.

“I kind of liked the attention a little bit, just knowing they have to focus so much on me, it kind of gives other players and confidence to make big-time plays, like Stockton Short for instance,” DeVries said.

But even once the do-it-all senior DeVries became teams’ top priority, very few successfully slowed him down, particularly in 2021.

BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Weber receiver Cannon DeVries (32) runs the football during a 6A playoff quarterfinal against Syracuse on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, at Weber High School in Pleasant View.

This season, DeVries had 65 catches for 942 yards and 10 touchdowns at receiver, plus 401 rushing yards with six touchdowns and one passing touchdown on offense.

On defense at safety, he made 82 total tackles (61 solo) with five interceptions. On special teams, he had 21 total returns for 419 yards. Overall, he didn’t really leave the field.

DeVries, a receiver/safety/kick returner/wildcat quarterback, is the 2021 Standard-Examiner All-Area Football MVP.

There did come a certain pressure each week with his role on the team, which was exactly how he wanted it to be.

“I like the pressure a lot, I think it elevates my game even more,” DeVries said. “Just knowing that maybe I do have to make an extra play here, or make sure guys are in the right spots, knowing that everyone needs to be locked in especially in the high-pressure moments, I just love that.”

Jonathan Chen, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Cannon DeVries poses for a photo outside Weber High School on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. DeVries is the 2021 Standard-Examiner All-Area Football MVP.

There was more pressure on defense this year as he was one of less than a handful of returning starters and played up in the box more to help stop the run, hence the 82 total tackles this year, more than double his 2020 tackle amount.

DeVries committed to BYU in March, signed with the school earlier this week and will enroll there after a two-year church mission.

In its signing day press release, BYU announced him as a cornerback, but he was recruited as an all-around athlete.

“Ever since I was growing up I always said that I would play wherever the coaches think I should. So growing up I played quarterback and safety, then I’d go at receiver and Jake (Lindsay) would go at QB in little league, we’d do that, then my sophomore year they changed me to strictly receiver, safety and return stuff,” DeVries said.

He did a lot on the field, not just in 2021, but in three years starting for Weber. DeVries also did a lot of work while no one else was watching.

Jonathan Chen, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Cannon DeVries poses for a photo outside Weber High School on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. DeVries is the 2021 Standard-Examiner All-Area Football MVP.

Whether it was lifting weights three times per week in the season, trying to watch film 4-5 hours per week or something else, that’s how DeVries operated in hopes of being better than the player opposite him on the football field.

“I’ve always, like, strived to make sure that I’m outworking someone, or out practicing, or watching film more than they are, trying to be the best in every aspect,” DeVries said.

To start the season, DeVries “only” played receiver, safety and returner. When quarterback Jake Lindsay got hurt midway through the season, Weber turned to backup quarterback Aidan Carter, and also started running DeVries out of the wildcat formation.

Weber head coach Jayson Anderson has said many times that DeVries is a special football player. Anderson said DeVries is to Weber football what Britain Covey is to Utah Utes football.

“Every time we needed a play, whether it be on offense or defense he was there, or special teams even,” Anderson said.

DeVries was a crucial part of Weber’s success this year, and the past two. A 38-35 win against Farmington in September, a de-facto Region 1 championship game that ended on a DeVries interception, kickstarted Weber’s season and also reinforced just how locked in the team needed to be to have a good year, DeVries said.

This year’s semifinal appearance was Weber’s first since 1999, and the Warriors won 10-plus games in a season for only the second time in school history (the other was 1999 when Weber won the state title).

The Warriors were 23-9 the past three seasons with two Region 1 titles, a far cry from where the Weber program was just eight years ago when it entered the 2013 season on a 23-game losing streak.

“So many great memories. Being able to play with these guys and these coaches for so long, you never really cherish it until it’s over,” DeVries said.

It’ll take probably two or three players next season to replace what DeVries did.

“I mean, he’s a three-year starter and if he wouldn’t have gotten hurt as a freshman … he might’ve, I wouldn’t say he would’ve been a four-year starter, but he would’ve had a lot of playing time as a freshman,” Anderson said.

The nightmare for opposing coaches is over. They can finally erase No. 32 from their gameplan whiteboards.

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