Kuony Deng was officially placed as one of the nation’s top senior linebackers entering the fall 2020 football season. The California Golden Bears veteran was expected to do big things for the Cal defense this fall in the absence of former Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Evan Weaver.
Though there won’t be a fall season for Deng to participate in, his mention alongside the other linebackers listed on the Senior Bowl’s top 250 list is an accomplishment in and of itself.
Deng was listed with Tuf Borland, Ryan Bowman, K.J. Britt, Baron Browning, Big Kat Bryant, Rodjay Burns, Riley Cole, Jabril Cox, Jojo Domann, Milo Eifler, Tony Fields II, Paddy Fisher, Lakia Henry, Justin HIlliard, Buddy Johnson, Jermaine Johnson, Deangelo Malone, Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Monty Rice, Max Richardson, Charles Snowden, Grant Stuard, Chazz Surratt, Erroll Thompson, Garret Wallow and Pete Werner.
Deng was also selected to the preseason lists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy as well as the Bednarik Award. He was a second-team preseason All-Pac-12 selection by Athlon Sports and the Bay Area News Group.
He earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 a season ago by the league’s coaches and a second-team selection by Phil Steele.
With 301 total tackles between he and Weaver, together they formed the nation’s top tackling duo as Deng ranked third in the Pac-12 with 119 total tackles in 2019.
He previously played at Independence Community College and at Virginia Military Institute and was one of the first players to earn a scholarship for athletics from his high school (John Champe) in Northern Virginia.
It remains unknown as to whether or not he’ll play if the Pac-12 were to institute a spring season, and it remains to be seen if the Senior Bowl would move their game date back in accordance.
Either way, it’s another prestigious honor for Deng. Way to go!