Dever siblings headed to Michigan10/29/10 Lake Forest's Morgan Dever. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
They’ve bled blue since the day they were born.
One of the first items Bo Dever received was an infant-sized University of Michigan onesie.
The Dever family has donned the beloved maize and blue quite often over the years. Lake Forest High School athletes Bo and Morgan can still vividly recall attending Michigan football games when they were younger.
“The moment you get to The Big House, it’s so exciting and so loud,” Morgan said. “It was always a fun experience because we were there with our family and friends.”
Their father, David Dever, was a lineman for the Wolverines under Bo Schembechler from 1984-88. David thought so much of the experience that he named his son after the legendary coach.
Bo, an incoming senior for the Scouts, has never stopped dreaming of a time when he’d be the one competing on the same field where his dad worked in the trenches — and where he’s watched his heroes play year after year.
“There can’t be anything better than coming out of that tunnel, jumping up to touch that banner and running out in front of 113,000 fans,” he said. “That’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”
Now, he’s one step closer to making that vision a reality.
After impressing the Wolverines’ coaching staff by winning the Michigan Football Camp MVP award last month, Dever accepted an offer to join the program as a walk-on in 2012.
At the same time, junior-to-be Morgan Dever, one of the top field hockey players in the nation, made an early commitment this month to join her brother and compete for the Wolverines following her prep career at Lake Forest.
“They’re wonderful kids,” said David, their father. “With all the good athletes out there these days, for them both to have a chance to play at Michigan is really a dream come true for me.”
Bo has provided the Lake Forest offense with a talented big receiver since his sophomore year. The speedy 6-foot-2, 190-pounder, who also stood out on special teams, played a key role in the Scouts’ 7-4 finish in 2010, which included the program’s first appearance in the second round of the IHSA playoffs since 1996.
He also put together an eye-opening performance at the Michigan Camp. Wolverines wide receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski, a former star quarterback at Palatine, thought so highly of the young prospect that he helped award him the MVP honors out of more than 1,200 camp athletes.
Simply determined to live out his dream at Michigan, Bo, who also shines in the classroom, passed up potential scholarship opportunities with MAC and Ivy League schools.
“I was pretty nervous, but I met Coach Hecklinski and he said we’d have a meeting at the end of the week,” Bo recalled. “But before then, he met with my dad and me and told us he wanted me to play at Michigan. He said he thought I could do big things there.”
“I felt like if I went anywhere else,” he added. “I would end up regretting it.”
Morgan, who has attended Michigan’s field hockey camp the past five years, also made a connection with the successful program and its coaching staff.
The skilled young forward started as a sophomore and helped the Scouts record an impressive 23-4-1 record on the way to regional and sectional titles in 2010.
Morgan was selected to the 2011 Junior Olympic team last month for the third time (2008, 2010-11) in her young career. As a member of the USA Futures Elite team, she’s ranked among the top 100 players in the nation.
With two more years remaining at Lake Forest, Morgan passed up possibBY le opportunities with powerhouses North Carolina and Penn State, as well as Northwestern and Iowa, to join her big brother at Michigan.
“It’s been a dream of mine,” Morgan said. “We’ve been big fans since we were little, so we’re really excited.”
There was never an urge for Morgan to escape out of Bo’s shadow. The siblings seem to have created a rare bond. They aren’t rivals — just good friends.
“We’ve always had a good relationship,” Bo said, “and it’ll be a nice transition for us having each other there.”