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Mike DeVito saddened by news of former Maine teammate Jovan Belcher

Mike DeVito stretches during practice at the Atlantic

Mike DeVito stretches during practice at the Atlantic Health Training Facility. (June 14, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday/Joe Epstein

Mike DeVito is one of a handful of University of Maine alums in the NFL, part of the same small fraternity as Jovan Belcher.

"I remember I had him on his recruiting trip [to Maine]. I was one of the guys that [hosted] him," the Jets defensive end said after his team's 7-6 win over Arizona Sunday.

Belcher, a former West Babylon high school star, murdered his girlfriend, then committed suicide at the Chiefs' facility Saturday morning.

DeVito, who said he last spoke with Belcher last Dec. 11, when the Chiefs visited the Jets, regrets that he lost touch with his college teammate and friend.

"We'd sent a couple texts back and forth, very sporadic; I haven't talked to him in a while," DeVito said. "That's something that I'm upset with myself about, because I do remember Belcher from college, the type of person that he was . . . It's just really upsetting."

DeVito, in his sixth NFL season, still was shocked about the news he heard the previous day.

"I couldn't be more saddened, more disappointed -- it's so tough for both families," he said. "It really shows you how fast things can happen. Looking at the situation, it makes me wish I'd have stayed in better touch with him. When you leave college, you start going your separate ways. I wish I would have stayed in contact with him, because you always think how could you have helped. How could you have done something, maybe be there for somebody.

"Just an awful situation. I've been praying for both families constantly and just praying something like that never happens again."


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