ylan Reda and Duke DeLancellotti never thought they would become best friends, but their career paths are eerily similar. Some is by design, and some by chance.
Both players returned home after playing a year at separate Division I colleges.
“He knows my game and I know his. We both know what we are capable of,” DeLancellotti said.
Reda played football for the South Orange County Patriots when he was 8-years-old. DeLancellotti began his career at the same age, but played Pop Warner for the Junior Tritons.
The two met during their freshman year at San Clemente High School. They bonded as seniors.
“He was the leader of the offense, I was the leader of the defense, and we were both striving to achieve the same goal,” Reda said. “Now I consider Duke one of my best friends.”
DeLancellotti, like Reda, basks in the bromance.
“We have a mutual understanding,” he said. “It lets us critique each other without getting upset.”
Having similar goals helped them reach their goal to play Division I football, but it also sent them down different paths.
Reda accepted a scholarship from Ohio University, but he missed home and returned after a season.
“I was young, and I’m not sure if I was ready to leave home,” Reda said.
DeLancellotti lost his scholarship to Boston College after a coaching change and chose Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He left, disgusted by how the coaching staff treated him.
“I was treated poorly by the offensive coordinator,” DeLancellotti said.
The two could have enrolled at Saddleback College, about 10 minutes from home. They chose SAC instead.
“Saddleback has a bad reputation at San Clemente High School. We saw it as a place where good players went to die,” DeLancellotti said.
Reda now has a scholarship offer from Southern Mississippi University. San Jose State and the University of Miami are interested.
DeLancellotti has visited Portland State, but has also piqued the interest of the University of Kentucky and Kansas State.
“I’d like to go somewhere with someone. Maybe a college will offer Duke and myself something together. That would be awesome,” Reda said.
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