Photo courtesy of Horn Lake HS/Twitter
Horn Lake’s Nakobe Dean is the top-ranked recruit in the state of Mississippi, and now he’s been named the best high school linebacker in the country.
Dean’s defensive dominance helped propel Horn Lake to the 6A state title, and he has received the Butkus Award, which is awarded to the top high school linebacker in the country every year.
The surprise presentation was made at the school with Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus calling in to congratulate Dean.
Congratulations to Nakobe Dean @KobeDean2 on being surprised with the Butkus Award! Proud of this Eagle being recognized nationally! @butkusaward #TeamDCS #soareagle #raisethebar pic.twitter.com/8eORIROFM4
— Horn Lake HS Eagles (@EaglesHLHS) December 5, 2018
During the 2018 season, the 6’1 220-pound OLB accounted for 138 total tackles, including 72 solo and 22 tackles for loss. He added safety, a defensive score, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles. Playing both ways, Dean also rushed for 9 TDs during the season.
Not only a gifted athlete, Dean is highly regarded for his academic ability and maintains a 4.0 GPA. After the announcement, the committee had high praise for their award’s recipient.
“Nakobe Dean was the heartbeat of a state championship team where he has been as much a leader in the classroom and community as he has been on the field,” the committee said. “With the on-field tenacity of Dick Butkus, Dean’s playing style strikes a remarkable resemblance to former Tampa Bay Buccaneers All-Pro linebacker Derrick Brooks, possessing a similar body build, speed, athletic ability and the superb instincts that define the Butkus Award.”
The recognition didn’t stop there as Dean was also named the Gatorade Mississippi Player of the Year and Class 6A’s Mr. Football.
Dean will play in the upcoming Under Armour All-American Game. Dean has his choice of any school in the country, and while Mississippi State and Ole Miss are hoping he’ll stay in state, that appears to a longshot with the likes of Alabama and LSU at the top of many projections.