July 12, 2020

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Diamond in the Rough: Kaleb DeRouen

Kaleb DeRouen is an offensive lineman from McDonogh 35 High School in New Orleans, La. The 2021 recruit has a massive 6’4 frame, and weighs in at just under 340 pounds. DeRouen played both tackle spots and center during his junior campaign. Watching his film you immediately think of road grading offensive linemen like Larry Allen or Nate Newton. He finishes blocks and buries, sometimes multiple, defenders in his wake. DeRouen says he plays for his aunt, who died before she could see him play in a high school game. The 2021 recruit tells me he currently maxes at with a 405 pound squat, 315 pound bench and 315 pound dead lift. Kaleb is currently carrying a 3.0 GPA as well.


When did you start playing football?

I started playing football when I was in middle school, I was about 13. It was for the Kenilworth rec league.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Basketball, I played center and a little power forward, and I played baseball when I was small, too.

Did you always play offensive line?

I started out on the defensive line, but once my school started getting more defensive linemen they put me on the offensive line. I’ve been there ever since.

Looking back at last season, what were some of your goals?

My goals were; we were a new class. So my goals were to win a state championship for Coach Reese, I wanted to become an All-State for my first time. Basically, everything that we did or tried to do was for Coach Reese. I wish it would have went better than it did, because he’s not here with us anymore. But, everything I am I owe to him.

Who would you say some of your biggest influences are?

My biggest influence is my Auntie Evelyn, she always wanted me to play football and go to college for it. She died a few years ago, but when I was small she lived in Houston, I lived here. Whenever I would go to her house, I’d never want to leave I would always help her with whatever she needed, and we grew a bound. Especially, over football. She is the one that got me to like football and to be a Saints fan, because she was a Saints fan. She had about three strokes before she died, I always wanted her to come to New Orleans to watch me come play football. But she could never make it over here. A few days before she died, she face timed me and told me she wanted me to finish up football and use it to go to school for free. Ever since then, I’ve been going at it. She is definitely my biggest influence.

Who would you say your favorite NFL player is?

I would say Jalen Ramsey. I like the way he carries himself, he has a swagger to him. He always has confidence in himself. Even though he had hard times, he always knew he was going to do something. He knew he was going to be the number one cornerback in the draft. Even when he got to the league, he wasn’t afraid of who other teams put in front of him. He’s kind of almost like Deion Sanders, he’ll talk his talk when he needs to.

What do you feel motivates you the most?

Going to college, without having to worry about paying for anything. My mom, she was in a lot of student loan debt, and she always wanted me to go to college, and not take out any loans in my name. She wants me to graduate with no loans and be successful in my life.

Speaking of success, at the end of this upcoming season, what would you want your teammates and coaches to say about you?

That I did the best I could, not only for me, but for all of them. I don’t do a lot of talking, I’m a silent leader. At practice, I do what I need to do. I respect my coaches, and just do what I have to do for the team.

What sport do you think you would be playing if you weren’t playing football?

Basketball, definitely basketball. It was my first love.

On a scale of 1-10 what would your ideal performance number be on game day be?

I am super confident in myself so I have to say a 10.