• John Macon Gillespie

What Makes Nakobe Dean Elite

It’s hard not to get excited when you see Nakobe Dean under the lights. He’s the kind of linebacker that can make defenses great again, in the day and age of wide-open, uptempo offenses. Dean posses the athleticism to move around the field with fluidity, speed and quickness that makes even the best skill position players jealous. And when he gets where he’s going..POP.

In Horn Lake’s final game of 2016, Dean - a sophomore at the time - registered 11 tackles in a win that would move the Eagles to 9-3 on the season. Their 4-3 division mark that season did not earn them a playoff bid. In 2017 Dean stepped up, as did the HL defense, and team overall. The star linebacker registered a team-high 147 tackles, to go with 25 tackles for loss and nine sacks, as a junior. All while his Eagles improved drastically on the defensive side of the ball, and finished 9-3 again. This time, however, the Eagles finished 5-2 against division foes and worked their way to the second round of the playoffs.

“It feels great and it’s a real blessing,” Dean told SES Mississippi.

With plenty of hype surrounding Dean and his team entering the 2018 season, there’s a good reason to keep an eye on Horn Lake this fall. Considering Dean’s improvement from sophomore to junior season, it would be unreasonable to not figure in more of the same for this fall. Dean’s previously-mentioned athletic and physical gifts have allowed him to produce in a major way, but he’s also a very heady player who is still putting it all together and only getting better. With so much talent around him in maroon and white, he’ll looking to add “state champion” to his increasingly impressive resume.

Dean is the first Horn Lake Eagle to be named to the E10. The Elite 10 dates back to 2014, with this year’s group being the fifth of it’s kind.

**Release schedule for the 2018 Elite 10**

#1 - Jerrion Ealy | Jackson Prep

#2 - Brandon Turnage | Lafayette

#3 - John Rhys Plumlee | Oak Grove

#4 - Rodrigues Clark | Starkville

#5 - KJ Jefferson | North Panola

#6 - Nakobe Dean | Horn Lake

#7 - July 9th

#8 - July 16th

#9 - July 23rd

#10 - July 30th

**Photo courtesy of Russell Johnson,

#HornLake #JohnLukeMcCord #Elite10

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