WHITEMARSH — Don’t ask Joe DeSanto to wax eloquently about all of his exploits on the gridiron.
The guy just isn’t built that way.
Even though the Plymouth Whitemarsh High senior did plenty of damage in his first and only season in a Colonials football jersey, he’d rather dwell on what he didn’t do, rather than what he did.
“I’m the type of player that looks more at the negatives,’ said DeSanto, who joined teammate and classmate Ryan Bischoff Wednesday afternoon when the duo officially signed their national letters of intent, officially beginning their collegiate football careers. “I had eight sacks this year, but instead of talking about how good that was, I think about the ones I missed. And I felt I should have done better.’
DeSanto will play at West Chester University at the next level. And while he was not prepared to puff out his chest and proclaim himself a future No. 1 NFL draft choice, the fact is, no less an authority than Colonials head coach Dan Chang proclaimed DeSanto a defensive game changer.
“He was a big part of our defense,’ Chang said, “our defensive MVP. He created havoc, and he got better and more confident as the season went along.’
DeSanto only spent his senior season at PW because it took him some time to decide to transfer from Archbishop Carroll, where he loved his teammates and coaches, but not necessarily the plight of the Patriots program.
“We were a Double-A school, and we weren’t playing schools with a high reputation,’ DeSanto said. “My dad had talked to me about transferring after my sophomore year, but I didn’t want to leave my friends on the team.
“But after my junior year, my dad wanted to expand his business, and he wound up buying a home in the (PW school district), so everything worked out.’
It worked out for DeSanto, who took an immediate shine to the PW coaching staff, his new teammates and the Colonials defensive scheme.
“The defense is pretty basic,’ the senior said, “it wasn’t that difficult to pick up.
“And I was welcomed with open arms by players and coaches.’
DeSanto thrived, seemingly coming up with his best efforts when the stakes were highest.
As for his college choice, DeSanto said he was eyeing the Golden Rams from the get-go.
“I had a pretty good feeling about the program and the coaches,’ he said, “but I wanted to look at other options, so I did take a visit to Shippensburg.
“I wound up liking both campuses, but when I was at West Chester, I just had that feeling in my stomach that it was the place for me.’
And all of those sacks DeSanto said he missed at PW, he’s planning on making up for when he gets to the college football field of his choice.
“My goal is to beat the (career) sack record at West Chester,’ he said. “That’s the goal.’
As for Bischoff, who will attend the University of Virginia, Chang said that while much was expected of the 6-foot-5, 310-pound tackle, Bischoff somehow managed to exceed those lofty expectations.
“He was excellent,’ Chang said. “He was a dominant blocker. When we needed a yard or two, that’s where we went.
“Pass blocking was where he really excelled. He just engulfed people.’
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