The South Carolina State Bulldogs were a whole problem for MEAC squads last season. From winning the MEAC and representing the conference in the Celebration Bowl to blowing out heavily favored Jackson State (31-10) in that de facto Black College Football National Championship Game.
None of that would’ve been possible without starting cornerback DeCobie Durant, the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. Durant is a shutdown corner who didn’t allow a touchdown all season. For his individual efforts Durant was chosen as one of only four players from HBCUs to be invited to the NFL combine, where he got sturdy, running a 4.38 40-yard dash. It opened eyes to say the least.
HBCU standout CB Decobie Durant of @SCState_Fb with a 4.41u! 🙌
— NFL (@NFL) March 6, 2022
Durant then ran a 4.41 at his team’s pro day proving that the 4.38 in Indy wasn’t a fluke.
Here’s what the talented corner had to say at his pro day in March.
“My feelings are through the roof right now, said Durant. “I’m here with my guys now. It’s a blessing to be able to show our talent to any professional team here.”
Durant Has The Tools To Play Right Away
In a league designed to help offenses light up the scoreboard weekly, a team can never have enough good players on defense — especially cornerbacks and pass rushers. With the football being thrown nearly seven out of every 10 plays in the NFL those positions are even more vital.
Durant fits the mold of a shutdown corner, he possesses great instincts, quickness and has that quick-twitch ability needed to change direction and run with receivers. He’s also an excellent tackler because he’s a willing tackler. Durant tallied 37 tackles, including 29 solo, last season, which is excellent for a guy who’s usually 10-15 yards downfield covering receivers.
Decobie Durant is a CB prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 5.07 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 949 out of 1923 CB from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/lbr3M1mgIr #RAS pic.twitter.com/ej8i8krBtE
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 1, 2022
But in the end it’s his coverage skills and ability to avoid penalties that teams love. In his college career he’s only been flagged for four penalties total, and that includes holding, pass interference and illegal contact. That’s amazing considering how difficult it is for defensive backs to play within the rules so heavily one-sided in favor of the offense.
Durant Received High Praise From Deion Sanders
Durant was tremendous all season, but in the Celebration Bowl beatdown of the JSU Tigers he was next0level good. Like grandma’s yams on Thanksgiving good. Durant tallied three pass breakups and one sack while allowing no catches on his side of the field.
Following the game, JSU head coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders praised Durant.
“They’ve got a corner over there that should be recommended for the NFL. I am sure he is. He should get his shine on. We tried our best and got our butts kicked.”
— John T. Grant (@JohnTGrantJr) January 14, 2022
Durant is a hardworking, coachable talent who believes he can cover anyone. He has that “dog mentality.” He says he’s not even thinking about the draft, as that will take care of itself. Instead, he’s instead focusing on perfecting his craft daily as one of several HBCU prospects that should hear their names called before the 2022 NFL draft is over.