A good catch
Pro football's loss was Scappoose's gain this season.
The Indians' football program put former receiver Paul Revis to good this season. The 2013 Scappoose High graduate was back on the sidelines, this time in coaching gear instead of a uniform.
Revis was part of the staff as the Indians marched to the Class 5A quarterfinals and finished 7-4. He worked with the receivers and special teams, notably helping the kick returners.
The 5-7, 165-pounder was coming off a 20-catch season in the Arena Football League with the Columbus Destroyers.
A former star at Western Oregon University, Revis had hoped to hook on with an NFL team, but when that didn't happen, Plan B was to continue helping out in Scappoose.
"When Coach (Sean) McNabb reached out to me last summer, there was nothing else I wanted to do more than help out the football team," Revis said. "That's what I really enjoy doing is watching, playing and studying the game of football."
As for his future, Revis said he is now "day to day," using a phrase common in sports.
He's also in his second year of coaching middle school boys basketball; the team's first game was Wednesday, Nov. 13.
And he's wondering if his playing days on the gridiron (indoors or outdoors) will continue, or if it is time to focus even more on some fallback options.
"Honestly, I was really set on trying to get to the NFL. That was the No. 1 focus of mine for a long time," Revis said. "I was waking up every day, working out hard. That was the only thing on my mind.
"Now, it's like I've got to find a plan that really works for me."
His one year of Arena Football was fun, but the AFL, which was down to six teams anyway, has announced that is is shutting down operations. The somewhat-rival Indoor Football League is still going, but doesn't pay as well.
"So I've really got to ask myself, 'Is it worth my body coming back' (for another season)?" Revis said.
He's always been one to take on the odds, though, and beat them, and to prove doubters wrong.
"I grew up with a chip on my shoulder," he said. "Coming out of high school, I thought I would get offers from bigger schools, but they ddidn't come. It hurt. So I went to a small school (WOU) and walked on. I went out there every day and went as hard as I could for as long as I could, and I let the rest fall into place."
Revis wound up being the Wolves' leading receiver. He led the NCAA Division II school in receptions all four seasons.
"I just made it happen," he said.
Revis was on a receiving corps that included someone now in the NFL, and who has caught 181 NFL passes and scored 22 touchdowns — 6-4, 205-pound Tyrell Williams out of Cascade High in Turner. Williams is playing for the Oakland Raiders. Through last week, he had 26 catches for 380 yards and five TDs in seven games this season.
"Tyrell was our big guy, but it was a really cool 1-2 punch," Revis said. "I was more of a move-the-chains guy.
"Tyrell was a very good, skilled receiver. He made things so easy for me because he would take most of the defense and I would get one-on-one stuff. I'm not surprised he's in the NFL. He's great at studying the game and paying attention to fine details."
Still, Revis used his skills, savvy, drive and speed to earn Great Northwest Athletic Conference and national honors, and was likened to Wes Welker, the New England Patriots' standout, and also undersized, receiver at the time.
At Western Oregon, Revis rang up 274 receptions for 3,998 yards and 32 touchdowns, and scored four TDs in four seasons on punt returns, leading the Wolves in that department as well.
As a redshirt freshman in 2014, he was first on the team in catches (67), receiving yards (1,149) and touchdown receptions (11). He was first in all three categories every year -- as a sophomore, he had 44 catches for 710 yards and six TDs, as a junior he went 70-1,057-8, and as a senior he was 93-1,083-7.
Out of Western Oregon, Revis went to a Pro Day at Oregon State, where he got a look from NFL scouts.
"It went, but not great," he said. "I didn't have amazing numbers off the charts, but a couple of teams reached out to me and said I might be a training camp guy."
But that call never came, and Revis admittedly "was kind of lost."
He got into Scappoose middle school basketball, and then got an offer from the Arena team.
"It was a really cool experience, and I met quite a few people," he said. "I think I could have found a niche in that (indoor) game. It's really fast-paced, with a lot of scoring. You need receivers who are good in traffic and can make at least one guy miss. You can score on almost every play. There's a lot of energy, and you're really in touch with the crowd."
After the Columbus season, Revis came back to Scappoose, bringing with him the enthusiasm, drive and dedication that had enabled him to have success on the field. He and other former Indians receiver, David Krupsky, "brought a lot of energy, new ideas and enthusiasm to the program," McNabb said.
"My main focus each week was to help bring the get the most energy out of the guys," Revis said. "Some guys need to hyped up, some hyped down. I tried to figure out which guys need which.
"But I feel like I always brought the energy and the attitude. Even when I was going through the (Scappoose) program, McNabb was huge on attitude and effort. Those are the two things you can always control.
"It doesn't matter how big or fast or strong you are, the only thing that matters are these next six to eight seconds, the next play. Are you willing to compete 100 miles per hour, or are you going to lollygag? You need to make the choice — give it all you've got, or not."
Revis also tried to get the Indians to up their football savvy, so they can use whatever physical abilities they have to the utmost.
"Football IQ plays a huge factor in that," he said. "You have to watch other players and mimic the best way you body can work for you. If you're a smaller, shiftier dude, use that to your advantage. If you're a bigger, stronger dude, use your body to create space that way."
And, as he would tell the players he worked with, a lot of times it just comes down to how much do you want to get up and get the ball, beating a defender for it.
"The game is more one-on-one than you think it is," Revis said. "It starts off as a team situation, but there are a lot of one-on-one situations."
McNabb said he thinks Revis can still play pro football.
"A dream we all had growing up was to continue playing," McNabb said. "If you give him a shot, if he gets his foot in the door, he can play. A lot of times he's looked at as not being big enough, but at every level he's done very well. He was the best player in high school. He was the best player, probably, in the GNAC. There's places he could go. He could go overseas and play. Maybe the XFL, if he could get a tryout. Or the Arena stuff. Now is the time to go for it."
As McNabb said, "you can always work. We love having him on the staff, and he's going to be a really good coach, if that's what he wants to go into."
Coaching, and maybe teaching as well, might be Revis' eventual career path. He'd need to get certified to be a fulltime teacher, but that is doable in one of various ways for Revis, who has a degree in interdisciplinary studies.
"College coaching would be so much fun," he said, "with all the talented players you can bring in. But high school coaching could be just as much fun.
"I think coaching and teaching are going to be in my life."
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