South LA native will play for San Francisco 49ers on Super Bowl Sunday – NBC Los Angeles

on Feb9
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A South LA native was set to represent Southern California as the starting cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers in the 2024 Super Bowl.

24-year-old Deommodore Lenoir, a graduate of Bishop Mora Salesian High School in Boyle Heights, is no stranger to to being in the spotlight after he helped his alma mater win its first CIF trophy.

“Playing in the Super Bowl, a game I’ve been watching since I was a kid, finally being able to be on that stage and in them bright lights — it’s means everything to me,” said Lenoir, who is also the high school’s first alumnus to play in the Super Bowl.

Lenoir started playing football when he was 7 years old, but he had not considered college until meeting his high school coach and mentor, Devah Thomas.

“You don’t get a lot of success out that area. He’s like a neighborhood hero, like an unsung hero,” said Thomas, who is also known as Coach D among his players. “He’s showing the kids behind him it can be done. Just put hard work, faith in God, academics, and it could be done.”

Deommodore Lenoir and his high school coach Devah Thomas posed for a picture after Lenoir picked the University of Oregon to play college football.

A few years after Lenoir met Coach D, the football player was offered 50 scholarship opportunities before deciding to go with the University of Oregon.

The coach was planning to attend the Super Bowl game in Las Vegas, cheering on Lenoir from the stands.

““Just put God first, D-Mo,” said Thomas to his former student. “Just grind. Stay hungry. Stay humble, and it’s all going to play you.”

Lenior said, in addition to Coach D, his big, close-knit family supported him and instilled the competitive spirit in him as he grew up with 20 siblings in South LA.

“I don’t come from a lot. The area I grew up in — it’s a low poverty area,” Lenoir said. “It really taught me to be humble for everything I got now. It’s a blessing for me.”

As for prepping for the big game, Lenoir said he would turn inward before putting everything out there on the football field.

“I’m going to listen to the music. I’m going to pray. And after that, lights out.”

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