Opinion: Kevin de León’s defenders emerge, but they’re still a minority
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2011
Over the years I’ve been told by a number of people I respect, “If you had Kevin de León’s record in high school, why would he not go pro?” No one said it aloud. They’re too polite for it, I guess because they’ve never faced a teenager with that kind of talent. Most would’ve said, “Why do you think he would stay there?” It’s such a simple query. But of course we don’t know the answer. It’s not as if we’ve met a kid with that kind of talent.
It would be pretty easy for a kid to go pro, no? To go straight to the NFL. It is for a select few, the ones who have the tools to make it to the NFL but fail to do it despite their talent. The scouts, the coaches who see a kid with the tools and sign him, the fans who think he’s the next Troy Aikman. But that’s not what’s unique about Kevin de León.
It’s not unique that he’s only a high school senior, but it’s unique that he’s a Texas high school senior. We don’t normally see high school seniors with that kind of talent in college, even in the state of Texas. The kid was taken in the 4th round by the Dolphins last year and played very well, and had a Pro Bowl season at this level.
And while I disagree with a lot of what Kevin de León does, I believe he’s an extraordinary athlete with a rare gift for being an outstanding leader, which is something that not many high school athletes get to do. There’s a reason he gets so much attention and credit for the way he conducts himself on and off the field, a reason that’s why so many people are giving him the “it” talk