Horn Lake's Nakobe Dean Is A Generational Talent--In More Ways Than One

null

Nakobe Dean is a monster.

Nakobe Dean is also a measured, soft-spoken, supremely intelligent individual who aspires to become a doctor or an engineer.

If you thought those two descriptions were mutually exclusive, well, you were mistaken.

Dean does it all—which is why he’s exploded up the prospect rankings of late, all the way to becoming a composite five-star prospect who ranks atop the state of Mississippi and as the No. 1 inside linebacker in the country.

Watch the Battle on the Border LIVE on FloFootball

And, yet, even in describing his versatility in the above paragraph, we’re doing him a disservice. That Dean is an inside linebacker implies that he’s a run-stuffing gap-filler who lacks the athleticism to play in space—which couldn’t be further from the truth.

The truth is, Dean could just as easily become Jabrill Peppers as he could Bobby Wagner. He’s not a ‘tweener,’ he’s just good at literally everything—including pass coverage and advanced mathematics.

The former allows him the potential to play linebacker or safety at the next level. The latter may pave the way to a future in medicine for this straight-A student and son of a doctor.

“When I was small I always said I wanted to be a doctor,” said Dean. “I found a love for engineering later in high school because I just love math.”

He also loves to succeed and treats class like his day job—because, according to his mother, it is.

“My mom is my backbone,” said Dean. “She raised me and my siblings by herself. Single parent household. I still have a great relationship with my father, but I got to see how strong my mom is through all my years.

“She always told me, when we got to high school, we don’t have to get a job because our job is school. Go to school make good grades. That’s our job. That was big for me. I saw how important school was because she made it that way.”

On the field, Dean plays a combination of speed, strength and enthusiasm that is ultra rare.

He plays sideline to sideline, has the ability to disrupt the passing game like a born defensive back, but will just as often follow that up by shooting through the A-gap with a ferocity that looks, to the uninitiated, like he’s equipped with a turbo button.

But this isn’t Madden. This is real life. And, in real life, Dean is one of the most sought-after uncommitted players on earth. But, while those around him continue to lob commitments, Dean is genuinely undecided.

When reminded that everyone on the outside seems to be very much in the dark as to where he’s headed, Dean responds matter-of-factly, “Everybody on the inside is, too. I don’t have any idea.”

Education is important to Dean and he will tell you as much without hesitation. Among his myriad offers, programs like Stanford, Duke and Vanderbilt hope he will continue to lean farther in that direction. But, for a player like this, football still matters.

“Education is a big thing, but I do generally feel like, wherever I go, I’ll get a great education. It really comes down to how I feel, my well-being… What’s going to prepare me for life after football, but also give me chances to do what I want to do in the sport? That’s the big thing for me.”

No fewer than five schools seem to be in play for Dean, who had 147 tackles—including 25 for a loss—and nine sacks as a junior. He’s been on campus at Ole Miss twice in the past month. He “loves” Georgia. He’s planning official visits to LSU and Auburn. And, of course, there’s no counting out programs like Alabama and Florida State.

For now, though, Dean isn’t a Bulldog or a Tiger or a Seminole. He’s the leader of the Horn Lake (MS) Eagles, one of Mississippi’s best teams, and he has a few more accomplishments to notch in the present before he cements his future.

The next order of business? The grand stage provided by the Battle on the Border, which will pit Dean and Horn Lake against Oklahoma’s Booker T. Washington and another uncommitted five-star prospect, athlete Dax Hill.

Kickoff is slated for 11 AM CT on Saturday, the first of three games to be played at the Independence Bowl that day. All games will be streamed LIVE on FloFootball.com and the FloSports app.

It will be the first and only national broadcast of the season for the Eagles and Nakobe Dean is must-see TV, so you do the math—and if you get hung up on the equation, just raise your hand. Odds are good that Dean knows the answer.

D'Eriq King To Arkansas? A Knee-Jerk Observation

A beautiful thing happened as LSU’s coronation tour neared its grand conclusion on Monday night: Breaking news, as D’Eriq King Tweeted, “Just kidding, I’m definitely leaving Houston — probably always was.”

Mecole Hardman Sparked A Chiefs Comeback, But First He Called His Shot

With Kansas City trailing Houston 24-0 in the second quarter of Sunday's AFC Divisional round playoff game, Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman returned a kick from his own end zone all the way back to the Texan 42-yard line, injecting life into his team and into a rabid crowd at Arrowhead Stadium.

James Madison Fell Short, But The Dukes Aren't Going Anywhere

FRISCO, Texas — Were James Madison and North Dakota State to play 100 times, it’s easy to predict that they would split the series 50-50. 

The Stage Is Set For An FCS Championship For The Ages

FRISCO, Texas -- Although James Madison and North Dakota State ended the 2018 season on much different notes, their paths to meeting in the 2019 season’s title game were similar. And the gap between them now feels immeasurable.  

The Only Thing Bigger Than Ron'Dell Carter's Personality Is His Game

FRISCO, Texas -- Draw up a blueprint for the ideal football star: What qualities spring to mind? 

Power Five Transfers Have Fueled JMU's Run To Frisco

FRISCO, Texas -- They came from the ACC, the American, the Big Ten to be here in Texas, by way of Harrisonburg. 

3 Things To Watch As James Madison Aims To Dethrone North Dakota State

Pair two teams as similar — and as excellent — as James Madison and North Dakota State, and just a single facet can completely change the game.

Rivalry Or Not, It's Always North Dakota State & JMU At The Top

FRISCO, Texas — Ben DiNucci handled the question about as diplomatically as one could want when asked about North Dakota State back in November. 

As 'Winter Camp' Ends, Dukes & Bison Are Ready To Roll

FRISCO, Texas -- The three-week layoff between the FCS semifinals and National Championship has a name at North Dakota State. 

It's Strength On Strength, As JMU D Meets Trey Lance

Ron'Dell Carter Has Arrived

FRISCO, Texas -- Circumstances leading to an interception are unavoidable, even for the best quarterbacks. A receiver runs an incorrect route, a pass ricochets off someone’s fingertips and a defender is in the right spot at the right time, even just a simple bad read out of the hundreds made in the course of a season.