DAVENPORT, Fla. – The offseason has proven to be a shining moment for Dante Lang.
As he elevates his game with the Palm Beach Fire 7-on-7 team, the Boca Raton 2018 tight end/defensive end is starting to realize his worth on the gridiron. College coaches, high school coaches, and evaluation scouts have been taking a hard look at Lang’s talent and potential in more ways than one.
They got a chance to see him in live action this past weekend at the Pylon 7-on-7 Tournament, which took place from Feb. 11-12 at Northeast Regional Park in Davenport (Fla.). In five games played over a two-day span, Lang gained separation from opposing defensive backs to haul in 15 receptions and three touchdown catches for the Palm Beach Fire’s offense.
Lang’s overall performance caught the eyes of his coaches and media evaluators alike, so much so that he was rated as the team’s No. 1 offensive player by Palm Beach Fire offensive coordinator Charles “Chuck” Cornelius and as a top overall player in the whole tournament by 247Sports.
“That means I did my thing out there,” Lang said. “I played against a lot of good competition, and it helped me gain a lot of confidence in my game. Once I started catching balls, I felt better about myself each time I was able to make a play for our team.”
Lang credits the Florida Fire organization for his offseason development.
“They have been giving me lots of exposure,” he said. “It’s good to learn stuff from different coaches, and we have that with our 7-on-7 team. They all have gone out of the way to make me a better player.”
With five offers already from the likes of Arkansas, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, UNC Charlotte, and FAU, all signs are pointing to a very bright future ahead for Lang.
“I have no favorites,” said the 6-5, 225-pound two-way player, who would prefer to play college football as a defensive end. “I’m looking at everyone right now. I want to play for a college that will help me advance in my education. I want to major in either sports management or mechanical engineering. Also, I want to have exposure to a different environment.”
Lang, who currently has a 3.3 GPA and is waiting for the release of his ACT test score, is also gaining some interest from Miami. Considering the fact that Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt is a Boca Raton alum and former high school football teammate of Bobcats head coach Eric Davis, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to say the least.
Lang plans to visit the University of Miami in Coral Gables (Fla.) for its Junior Day this Saturday (Feb. 18), which is slated to start at 10 a.m.
“It’s a good school to play for,” he said. “If they offer me, it will definitely a college I consider. Coach Richt is a cool dude who’s from our area in Boca Raton. We met during his 7-on-7 Tournament at Miami last summer.”
Lang doesn’t take anything for granted. He said he wants to improve his ball catching skills, his footwork, his speed, and his coordination on a continuous basis.
At the end of the day, he looks to Davis and Boca Raton defensive coordinator Jack Urb as two father figures who have helped him out tremendously over the past few years.
“Coach (Eric) Davis has done a lot for me with my recruiting and schoolwork,” h said. “He’s always there for me when I need him. It’s the same thing with Coach (Jack) Urb. He runs everything smoothly for us on defense. He taught me to get off the ball quickly and to keep myself up in the weight room. There’s not enough thing I can say about him and Coach Davis.
The Boca Raton head coach spoke on all the strides that Lang has made since his freshman year.
“Dante came to me out of middle school as a very raw talent,” Davis said. “He came with size, but had to be taught the game of football on the high school level. He’s very respectful, coachable, and willing to learn. He’s really a defensive end who is learning the tight end position. He has the talent to put it all together on both sides of the ball.”
We’ll be closely following Lang’s recruiting process over the next several months. Stay tuned for further updates.