STEUBENVILLE - Jamey DeVaul is leaving the calls at the line of scrimmage for the call of duty.
DeVaul, a former Steubenville Big Red all-stater who spent last season climbing the depth chart at center at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, won't be back for a sophomore campaign.
At least not next year. He's leaving some scholarship money on the table and enlisting in the United States Marine Corps.
''I just wanted to do something more,'' he said. ''Do something for my country, something to be proud of.''
His military desires stem all the way back to the seventh grade, when he was whispering about them to his parents, Vince and Renee.
They steered him toward football and wrestling, did everything they could to raise a quality young man, and knew one day they were no longer going to be able to make decisions for him.
That day came shortly after Thanksgiving last year.
''He called and said he wanted to serve his country, that he'd regret it if he didn't,'' his pride-filled dad said.
Not everyone is willing to give up something personal for a greater good. It's probably something Jamey learned at Big Red, where that's the way of life.
''I really hate to see kids drop out of school for anything,'' Big Red football coach Reno Saccoccia said. ''But he's very adamant about it, wants to defend his country. Who am I to judge? I'm very proud of him, proud he has such a great feeling for his country.
"Adults feel kids aren't what they used to be. Kids are no different than they've been. It's the older people that have changed.''
It was a meeting with Saccoccia during Jamey's sophomore year that Vince feels helped send Jamey down a solid path in his life. He'd been in trouble and ''off'' from school for a few days when Saccoccia called and asked Jamey to come over for a chat.
''It scared the hell out of me,'' Jamey said. ''I was doing stupid stuff. I realized that's not going to get me anywhere. He told me I have to go down the right path. I guess I did.''
Vince will never forget that day.
''(Saccoccia) was sitting in his garage, smoking a cigar,'' Vince said. ''And he basically challenged (Jamey). He took the challenge and went with it. As a parent, that was one of those defining times.''
Saccoccia remembered it too, but said sometimes like quarterbacks, coaches get too much credit.
''You always hope things that you do play a small part in a kid's maturing,'' Saccoccia said. ''But I'm smart enough to realize the parents raised that kid. Kids are what they are inside, sometimes it just takes someone to pull it out of them. Deep down Jamey DeVaul is Jamey DeVaul.''
By the time his senior season ended at Big Red, Jamey was was flooded with honors and scholarship dollars, chosen because of the way he conducted himself on the mats, field, in the classroom and community.
That suggests plenty of people thought Jamey could do anything he wanted in life.
And he will, beginning Aug. 8.
''They're called the few and the proud for a reason - not many people can do it,'' Jamey said of the Marines. ''The military sets you up for everything after you're out. I want that to happen to me. I don't want to be a bum sitting around doing nothing.''
Jamey understands the fears that go along with his choice - deployment overseas is always a strong possibility - but he's hardly worried.
''No I'm excited,'' he said. ''I can't wait for the challenge.''
Saccoccia sees Jamey's decision as a sign of leadership, and he thinks Jamey's story needs to be told.
''A lot of kids are at a crossroads,'' Saccoccia said. ''People are telling them not to go, but we need good kids. There are a lot of Jameys out there that don't have the support he has. Getting his story out can help a kid.''
For Jamey DeVaul, football can wait. His country is calling.