Michael Divinity has never been to Orlando, Florida.
That will change in less than two months when the John Ehret senior linebacker heads to Florida for the Under Armour All-American Game.
But when Divinity takes the field, he won’t be representing just himself.
He’ll be there for the state of Louisiana, his high school and more importantly, the folks in Marrero.
“It would mean a lot to bring a lot of kids back to Marrero,” Divinity said. “A lot of kids go to John Curtis and Brother Martin and all that. By this happening and us going further in the playoffs, other kids will say ‘you know what? I don’t have to wake up early in the morning and go to a different school. I can wake up, catch my bus and come right here to John Ehret.”
Divinity is the first Ehret player to be chosen for the game that showcases some of the nation’s top senior football players.
For the hard-hitting Divinity, who is verbally committed to LSU, it’s a dream come true getting the jersey presented to him in a ceremony at his school Wednesday.
“I’m very excited,” he said. “I never thought this day was coming. All the hard days I put in and the great motivation from my coaches and teammates and my mother paid off.”
Divinity is one of the leaders on a Patriots defense that is allowing just 11 points per game. It’s been six weeks since a team has scored more than two touchdowns against the Patriots, who will travel to play Live Oak on Friday in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
He’s a three-year starter for the Patriots, cracking the starting lineup as a sophomore after transferring from John Curtis.
“Some of the plays he started making as a sophomore had me saying ‘wow this kid is going to be special,’ ” Ehret coach Corey Lambert said. “He’s fast. He’s long. He’s rangy. He’s just that kind of kid you love to coach.”
Divinity, who will graduate in December and enroll in college in the spring, said he is still committed to LSU.
Texas A&M is still making a strong push for him. He will also take a recruiting visit to Colorado along with four other teammates being recruited by the school that also landed Ehret alum Kordell Stewart almost 25 years ago.
Divinity is one of seven state players selected for the Under Armour Game and one of three from the New Orleans area, joining Curtis offensive lineman Willie Allen and Rummel cornerback Kristian Fulton.
“We want to represent the state,” Divinity said. “Louisiana produces the best talent, and we want to show that the ones from New Orleans have the potential to be great players.”
He hopes there is a lot more football ahead. He admitted that growing up in Marrero, he never really thought he would one day become an All-America.
“I never did,” he said. “I thought I would be playing this sport and then have to find something to do with my life. But I’m going to ride this train until it falls.”
And while he wears his Under Armour jersey Jan. 2, he’ll be wearing his Ehret jersey in his mind.
“I’m a John Ehret Patriot forever, and I’m going to represent them the whole time I’m there,” Divinity said.