Steele Divitto hoping extra work pays off

Boston College linebacker Steele Divitto is a meticulous note-taker. The kind of guy you want to sit next to in class.

Boston College missed out on a bowl game in 2011, but Divitto took a trip of his own to continue learning. Thanks to his dad, Divitto flew to Athletes' Performance in Phoenix, Ariz., for two weeks of additional training.

“After my sessions, I’d take out my notebook and I’d jot down everything I learned, whether it was technique-wise, or eating habits, whatever it was,” Divitto said. “I figured if I was going out there, I really should try to get the most out of everything.”

In turn, Boston College should be getting the most out of Divitto this offseason.

One of the biggest questions Boston College has entering spring practices on Saturday is what the linebackers will look like without All-American Luke Kuechly, who left early for the NFL draft. (“It looks like Superman is back in his suit and Clark Kent is there now,” coach Frank Spaziani quipped. “That’s what it looks like. The cape is gone and we’ve got the guy in the suit with the glasses.”)

As BC fans know, though, the blue-collar working player can get it done, too, and that’s just the kind of player Divitto is. Sean Duggan and Nick Lifka will both be competing for Kuechly’s old position in the middle, but Divitto is versatile enough to play there, too. When former linebacker Mark Herzlich left, Divitto won the starting job at strongside linebacker, but he played in the shadow of Kuechly. Now he’s looking to establish himself as the team’s next leading linebacker.

Divitto spent his mornings in Arizona working on speed training and the evenings were for lifting. He was given a nutrition plan and had the opportunity to measure himself against some of college football’s top performers, as several NFL draft prospects were also there.

“Steele is exceptional about putting the extra effort in,” Spaziani said. “He’s taken ownership of his own future, which is something we all need to do, and he’s done a great job with it. He went out to train for a week, did it all on his own, out there by himself. He’s just highly motivated and has taken complete ownership of his future and he’s a team player. We’re excited to see his development. We’ll see this spring how far he’s advanced.”

Divitto was good to begin with. He finished third on the team in tackles last season with 72, and had 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception and five pass breakups. The trip to Arizona isn’t the first time he’s taken the initiative to get better. Last year he boxed during the offseason, and now he’s into Muay Thai, which is similar to kickboxing.

Divitto said it’s not about him; it’s about being the best player he can be for his teammates.

“I always believed that how hard you work throughout the offseason -- everything you do -- how you sleep how you eat, how you breathe, every rep you take in the weight room, every rep you take outside, all of that adds up to how you’re going to perform next season,” Divitto said. “I’ve lived my life just going off that hard work means everything. When you play a game, I feel like the outcome is already determined depending upon how much effort you put into it prior.”

If that’s the case, BC already has a winner.