Former Horn Lake Eagle Nakobe Dean can add one more accomplishment to his already impressive resume: 2022 College Football National Champion. Dean helped the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs upset the No. 1 Crimson Tide, 33-18 in the championship game Monday Night in Indianapolis.
Dean recorded four tackles in the victory, playing a key role in the Bulldogs’ first championship since 1980. Dean wrapped up the 2021 season with 36 solo tackles, 36 assist tackles, 6 passes defended, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions, including a pick-six.
“He’s the guy everybody sees and associates with Horn Lake,” Horn Lake Eagles’ Head Coach Mitchell Harville said. “To have him associated with Horn Lake is one of the greatest things we could have.”
In December, Dean received 34 percent of the weighted votes and 52 percent of first-place votes to win the Dick Butkus Award, which honors the best linebacker in the country at both the collegiate and high school levels. Dean also received the award in 2018 during Horn Lake’s state championship season, making him one of only three players to win the award on both stages.
“It’s special seeing a guy come through here and move to the next level and still be able to excel like so many other great guys we had come through here and really be one of the keynote guys,” Harville said.
Dean was also named to the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team earlier in the season for his community service work in both Georgia and Horn Lake.
The former Eagle was also a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which is presented to the most outstanding defensive player in college football; and the Wuerffel Trophy, which honors college football’s most impactful leaders in community service.
Dean, only a junior at Georgia, has not yet said if he will declare for the 2022 NFL draft. Football analysts expect Dean to be picked in the first or second round if he does declare for the draft.
“In 2018, Nakobe Dean helped Horn Lake HS win a football state title, and last night he helped the Univ. of Georgia win a national title,” DeSoto County School District Superintendent Cory Uselton tweeted after the game. “Nakobe is an outstanding young man on and off the field and a great representative for HLHS and DeSoto County Schools. Congratulations Nakobe Dean!”