“They’re going to feel me tonight!”
Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian four-star defensive back Deommodore Lenoir let it be known before last Friday’s game even began that he was going to make a big impact.
He told the photographers on the field to be ready for his performance. He yelled to the Calabasas receivers that he wasn’t a believer. He was ready to prove that he was just as good as any of the highly rated players on the Coyotes roster.
Lenoir did everything he could for Salesian. He played multiple positions on offense and defense. He rushed for 71 yards on six carries, including a 29-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He caught six passes for 42 yards. He finished with 10 tackles, according to MaxPreps, including a true de-cleater on a swing pass in the flats that Lenoir read perfectly.
“I'm a man of many positions. You can put me anywhere. I'm just ready to work.”
His biggest play came in the second half when Salesian forced a punt. Lenoir waited for the punt at his 10-yard line, but drifted back to the 6-yard line before snagging the floating football.
Lenoir said he had studied tape of Calabasas for about six hours a day leading up to the game and paid particular attention to their punt coverage unit.
“When I caught the ball, I already knew it was going to be a touchdown. I seen the edge. They gave it up.”
The 6-foot, 170-pound athlete got one big block and turned the corner. A slight juke got him beyond another defender and into the clear for a 94-yard touchdown. Salesian ended up falling to Calabasas, 35-26, but Lenoir showed why he is one of the top 100 players in the country, ranked as the No. 9 cornerback and No. 85 overall prospect.
“I think I played good. I matched the intensity of their best player [Darnay Holmes]. We were going at it,” Lenoir said. “My team fell up short, but we've got to go back and gameplan and get ready for the next game.”
The Salesian star committed to Oregon in late June, but that hasn’t stopped schools from contacting him. He said defending national runner-up Clemson and TCU, the team that defeated Oregon with a dramatic comeback in the Alamo Bowl, are two schools that have recently jumped into the foray. Lenoir said the attention from schools in other parts of the country is big for his confidence as a player, but at the same time keeps him humbled to keep working hard.
Lenoir is planning to take all five of his official visits, but doesn’t yet know where his destinations will be other than Oregon. He is planning to take some of his visits after the season ends so he can see how different the weather is.
“I know how the weather is going to be [during the season] because I've been to most of the schools that I'm talking to, so I just want to see after the season how is it,” Lenoir said. “I’m just waiting for all the schools that are hitting me up to send their official offer.”
He was offered by USC in April, but the Trojans haven’t consistently kept in contact like some of the other schools. Lenoir said USC high school relations coordinator Gavin Morris gets in touch on occasion and the two go back and forth. He is still keeping the door cracked should the Trojans choose to prioritize him as a recruit.
“It's my home school. It's right down the street from my house, so who wouldn't want to stay closer to home.”
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