But when his team needed him, the Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian four-star prospect stepped up against rival Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral.
He already had taken a swing pass 51 yards up the right sideline for a touchdown and finished off Salesian second scoring drive with a short run off the right tackle. But after senior starter Robbie Blosser went down with an injury, Lenoir took over the quarterback spot — something he said the team hadn’t really practiced.
“It was just all off of skill,” Lenoir said. “We don't really run it because our quarterback don't really go down like that, but I just told my coach that I need to ball out. I need to go to quarterback. I'm an athlete for a reason.”
He quickly showed that rushing for a 41-yard score on a keeper to the left. An interception gave the Mustangs the ball back once again and Lenoir drove the team down the field and punched in his fourth touchdown of the night on a short run at the goal line.
The score put Salesian ahead 28-7, but it proved not to be enough as Cathedral crept back in the game and eventually took a 37-36 win when the Mustangs’ field goal attempt in the final seconds fell just inches shy of the crossbar.
What turned the tide of the game was Lenoir’s legs. They led him to four first half scores, but wouldn’t carry him in the second half. Lenoir had to leave the game multiple times for long stretches in the second half due to cramping, which he said was so severe he ended up not being able to feel his legs.
Lenoir finished the game with 136 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 18 carries to go with four catches for 85 yards and a score. He also completed his only pass attempt for eight yards.
Deommodore Lenoir wearing USC gloves earlier this year before he committed to Oregon. (Gerard Martinez)
His performance came in front of multiple position coaches from the Pac-12 and Mountain West. Lenoir also got a special visit before the game when USC head coach Clay Helton stopped by to visit with Lenoir and the Salesian team.
Helton told Lenoir the Trojans were still keeping tabs on him and planned to have a more lengthy discussion with him soon.
“It was pretty good,” Lenoir said of Helton’s visit. “It was pretty cool, knowing that I'm still on the radar. USC, I use to be a diehard USC fan, you know, but... He said we going to meet up and talk this week.”
Salesian’s star said he’s still committed to Oregon, but with the Ducks struggling other schools have been reaching out to him.
“I've got a couple of other schools hitting me up,” Lenoir said. “I had Kentucky. UCLA back in the picture. USC. Met Clay Helton today and I just talked to Coach Meat [UCLA defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin] this morning before the game about me joining. He want me to come up there and watch all the DBs work.”
“Oregon, you know, they rebuilding right now. They got a young team, but I’m just weighing all my options.”
Lenoir will be taking his official visit to Eugene this weekend and says that he has a trip to TCU planned. He also will probably use an official visit to go see Michigan. He’s leaving his other two official visits open for now, but does plan to take unofficial trips to both USC and UCLA.
His ability to step up and fill in any spot his team needs is something each of those colleges have to be impressed with.
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