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Draft Breakdown

2021 NFL Draft Prospect: Kuony Deng, LB, University of California

Kuony Deng
Cal linebacker Kuony Deng’s path to the NFL is not like many others but the kid has not slowed down. He wants to make it and you can see it in his film.

Kuony Deng’s path to the NFL is not like many others. He has had to make sacrifice after sacrifice to put himself in the best situation. Deng makes me proud because the kid never quit. He continued to push forward and now he is a star in the making at Cal. Deng graduated high school in 2016 and was a two-way player who also tore in up on the basketball court.

The 6060 length is really impressive when you are breaking down film on Deng. Deng went to Virginia Military Institute in 2016 after graduating high school and only played in 2 games. He recorded 16 tackles as a freshman. He also played basketball for VMI and played in one game as a true freshman.

That experience at VMI would come to an end though. Kuony Deng would eventually land at Independence Community College, where he would ball out. He finished with 48 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss. This would help him land at Cal.

Kuony Deng highlights

Deng worked his ass off and it paid off. He would start all 13 games at Cal his Junior Year. He would finish 2nd on the team with 119 tackles, adding 7.5 tackles for loss and adding 3 sacks. He and Evan Weaver together combined to lead the nation and the best linebacking duo.

This year, I would not be surprised if Deng puts up Evan Weaver like numbers. Deng has already been named to the Lott Impact Trophy preseason watch list, and is a second team preseason All-Pac-12 selection by Athlon Sports.

NFL Draft Diamonds Scouting Notes:

I love stories of overcomers. Kuony Deng is just that. The kid took a different path to the 2021 NFL Draft, and his steps ended up putting him in a great place. The 6060 linebacker is 250 and when coming downhill hits like a truck. From VMI to Junior College to Cal is pretty damn impressive. I would not be shocked if you heard Deng’s name called in April’s NFL Draft. – Damond Talbot, NFL Draft Diamonds owner

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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