De’Jahn Warren: The real nuggets to know about the nation’s No. 1 JUCO prospect

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De'Jahn Warren has quite the story. Read on. It will be worth your time.

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry serves as the first DawgNation.com on 4-star junior college cornerback target De’Jahn “Nugget” Warren out of Lackawanna Community College in Pennsylvania. 

When it comes to junior college prospects, the road is sometimes the telling part of their story.

There is often a hiccup or a detour along the way. The talent level is obvious, but the junior college level was necessary to sustain their careers. That level offers a second chance at playing on the biggest stages that college football has to offer.

De’Jahn “Nugget” Warren has endured the hiccup, the detour, the setback, the hurdle and then found a speed turn back in the right direction toward major college football.

The nation’s No. 1 junior college prospect (per the 247Sports Composite) has essentially set his top four schools by naming Georgia, Oklahoma, Penn State and Tennessee as his four official visits. Will he add a fifth school to that list? He’s not certain of that yet.

When he enrolls at one of those programs in late December of 2020, he will be 21 years old. He will be a 21-year-old junior with a long story to tell his new teammates.

Let’s rewind his career like the back of a football card. It is the best way to show how he just would not give up.

  • Fall of 2013: His freshman season at Suitland High School (Junior varsity/14 years old) 
  • Fall of 2014: His sophomore season at Suitland High School (Junior varsity/15 years old) 
  • Fall of 2015: Sat out junior season. Academically ineligible to play at Suitland High/16 years old)
  • Fall of 2016: Sat out. Academically ineligible to play at Suitland High School/17 years old)
  • Fall of 2017: Reclassified to the class of 2018. Transferred to The Avalon School for his senior season (It was a two-hour commute each way to attend and play football/18 years old)
  • Fall of 2017: Could only play five games at The Avalon School. He tried to return to Suitland High. Had to enroll at an alternative school to finish his high school education. (18 years old) 
  • Spring of 2018: Graduated from high school. (18 years old)
  • Fall of 2018: Could not play at Lackawanna Community College (financial hardship/19 years old)
  • Fall of 2019: Walked on and became a junior college All-American at Lackawanna Community College/20 years old)

Their own personal struggle defines a lot of junior college players. That is certainly the case here. There’s something they need to learn by playing junior college ball.

It often has nothing to do with football. Check out what his first season at Lackawanna Community College looked like last fall.

It will impress. Check out that initial big hit and the backflip he nearly makes in the air while coming down with a pick.

It sounds like he now has both halves of that student-athlete part down. Finally.

“I don’t even have any grade issues now,” Warren said. “I can calmly give a college program my transcripts and know that I am fine. I gave it my all after that last time when it felt like I got kicked to the curb. I’ve made up for all that I’ve missed.”

Warren has played basically five games of varsity football in five seasons. Unbelievable.

Then he had to sit out his first potential season at the junior college level. When he arrived at the junior college level, he was a walk-on buried on the depth chart.

That was fine. He finally had a chance to play. It was something for him just to do that.

De’Jahn Warren. There hasn’t been a Georgia Bulldog recruiting target with a story quite like this one. (De’Jahn Warren/Instagram)

It takes 187 seconds for De’Jahn Warren to tell this story 

Ask Warren to recite all the twists and turns in his road to get to where he is today. He can.

He will do so briskly. It is a lot of material to cover. He covers that ground the way he does the 40. His HUDL profile page lists a time of 4.35 seconds at that distance.

There were those two summers after 7-on-7 season when he learned he didn’t have the grades to be eligible to play that fall. There was the attempt to restart his football career at The Avalon School. The opportunity there to play for a private school just took up too many hours in the day with the commute.

“It was just too far,” Warren said. “By the time I was getting home every night it was already 11 o’ clock at night.”

There were high school administrators that he feels left him to be. That was balanced out by a high school coaches who put in a good word for him with the staff at Lackawanna. He won’t forget the times he always spent trying to raise his high school GPA.

The plan to reclassify to a different graduating class to be able to play again that never came to be. It would up with him turning in his pads after a glimmer of hope.

“I was always good at football,” Warren said. “From the 7-on-7 seasons, I was receiving attention from a few colleges but they never really could look my way because I didn’t have the grades.”

He flies through all the steps of his journey. But it still takes him three minutes and seven seconds to describe everything that took place from the summer before his junior year to the chance to finally enroll and play for Lackawanna Community College in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

“I would have graduated high school in 2017 if I didn’t have to reclassify,” he said.

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