The Georgia Bulldogs have been nothing short of magnificent on the defensive side of the ball this season. Kirby Smart's squad has surrendered just 53 points and 1,813 yards through eight games. It's been an absolute nightmare for opponents trying to move the ball.
Linebacker Nakobe Dean is one of the primary reasons the Georgia defense has been a brick wall. The junior has established himself as the leader on the best defense in college football by making plays all over the field. He goes where the ball goes, and the defense goes as he goes.
Dean's performance on the field is All-American worthy. His performance in the classroom is valedictorian worthy.
Georgia LB Nakobe Dean: Straight-A Student
He's a 4.0 GPA engineering major...he's one of the premier linebackers in all of college football...and here he is with kip-up in full pads... Nakobe Dean is ELITE! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/bSaLVoyDyX
— Dawg88 (@OkCoolSicEm) October 9, 2021
Dean was a five-star recruit out of Horn Lake High School in Horn Lake, Mississippi. As the 19th-best player in the class of 2019, Dean had his pick of the litter when it came to college football programs. Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Texas A&M, Baylor, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Memphis, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, Ole Miss, South Alabama, Stanford, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt all wanted his services. But Georgia stood above the rest.
Dean valued academics as much as competing for a national championship when choosing his college destination. In fact, academics have been his top priority throughout his life. The star linebacker was a straight-A student throughout his high school career. He last received a B in his eighth-grade typing class.
The football player's success in the classroom stems from a routine he developed in high school. After practice, he eats, studies, works out, and sometimes hits the books again. He can be found with a book in his hand before going to bed, too.
There was also some financial incentive for doing well academically. Neketta Dean, Nakobe's mother, rewarded him $100 each semester for every perfect transcript. She claimed to have given him over $1,000 before his senior year of high school. It wasn't about the money; Dean simply wanted to be the best in every avenue of his life. He thrives off a regimented schedule and loves to learn.
He's a Mechanical Engineering Major
When Nakobe Dean was being recruited to @GeorgiaFootball, he met all sorts of important people. The most important? David Gattie, a professor from @UGA_Engineering, because above all else, Dean wants to be an engineer. https://t.co/kFd8Bf0EUe @UGAAthletics
— UGA (@universityofga) October 7, 2019
So, when Dean arrived in Athens and the time came to pick his major, he wanted to maximize his educational experience. He narrowed his choices to engineering and pre-med because of his interest in prosthetics. Mechanical engineering emerged as the winner.
Preparing for an SEC opponent like Kentucky or Florida the same week as an engineering test gives me a headache just thinking about it. Dean loves it. Oh, and that straight-A streak? It's still going strong.
On the field, Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean is having himself a career-defining season. He tackles with perfect form. He sends shivers down the quarterback's spine when he pursues a sack. He can even drop back into coverage, like when he had a pick-six to close out the first half against Florida.
Dean has been recognized for his performance as a Butkus Award semifinalist and a midseason All-American by ESPN and CBS Sports. According to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr, he's also been climbing NFL Draft boards and currently sits as a top-15 prospect.
Forget his 40-time and bench press. I'm most intrigued by Dean's Wonderlic score when he goes through the draft process. I suspect it'll be pretty high.
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