VSN’s Football Player of the Year selects Monarchs over Maryland, others

by Derek Toney

Devin Roache, VSN’s 2021 Football Offensive Player of the Year, has given a verbal commitment to Old Dominion University. The rising Dunbar High senior announced his pledge on his Twitter account. 

Roache chose the Monarchs over James Madison, Maryland, Temple and Virginia Tech. The 5-foot-8, 170-pound athlete is the 25th-ranked senior in the state by Rivals.

Last season, Roche accounted for 3,440 all-purpose yards and 40 touchdowns for the Poets, who captured their 11th state title. He had 308 yards and three touchdowns in the Class 2A/1A championship game. 

Roche’s most memorable performance came against eventual 4A/3A state champ and Baltimore City rival Mervo in week three. Mainly a running back, Roche moved to quarterback, a position he had not played since his early days playing youth ball.

Roche finished with 308 yards (passing and rushing) and threw two touchdown passes in the final 2 minutes, 30 seconds of regulation as Dunbar overcame a 16-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime.

The Poets won, 48-46, in overtime. Roche, who rushed for 189 and threw for 119, accounted for 36 of Dunbar’ 40 points in regulation.

Old Dominion, located in Norfolk, Va., went 6-7 last year and played in the Myrtle Beach Bowl. The Monarchs play their first season in the Sun Belt Conference this fall.