JUCO CB De’Jahn Warren Has A Chance to Continue His Story at Alabama
All De’Jahn Warren needed was a second chance.
The now, 2021 No. 1 JUCO ranked four-star cornerback in the nation, played football sparingly his junior and season high school seasons after dealing with some academic and personal issues.
One of those personal issues included the passing of his grandmother during his sophomore year.
“That is when things started going downhill for me,” Warren said. “It was my first time dealing with a death, especially someone so close to me. I just could not focus on anything and my grades took a hit.”
At that time, Warren’s football career also suffered a massive blow. He was ruled academically ineligible at two different schools before transferring to Suitland High School in Hyattsville, Md. for his final prep season and re-classifying into the recruiting class of 2019.
But after playing one game at Suitland, he was ruled ineligible again. The character and grades issues continued and the chances of hitting the gridiron again looked bleak.
“I had to realize that over time, school is important,” Warren said. “You can not want to play the sport without getting the grades. Education is more important than football at the end of the day.”
With no where to go, Lackawanna Community College came calling.
Warren turned his first season with the Falcons into a JUCO All-American campaign. 2019 was his first full year ever playing the cornerback position
He recorded 35 total tackles, six pass-break ups, five interceptions, and three forced fumbles. 247Sports ranks the 6-foot, 175 pound corner as the No.2 overall prospect at the JUCO level.
Academically, Warren has gotten back on track with a 3.2 cumulative GPA. And now, college coaches from across the county have taken notice. His offer sheet includes schools like the University of Alabama, Penn State, Maryland, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Auburn, among others.
“One of the things I’ve learned here is to push through whatever you are going through,” Warren said. “Do not ever give up. Do not quit on yourself. Life is never easy. If it was, every one would be doing it.”
In February, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban called Warren to offer him the scholarship he never thought he would have.
“My heart dropped to be honest,” Warren said. “To go from not playing two years ago to be getting a call from Coach Saban, that is a major blessing for me.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly put a damper on the recruiting process for Warren and everyone else.
He says a lot of coaches are putting in more effort on the phone through text messages and FaceTime in order to build a close relationship with him during this unprecedented time.
Alabama is one of the schools he hears from the most. Earlier this week, Warren was in touch with the Crimson Tide’s Director of Sport Science, Dr. Matt Rhea.
“He was just calling me to tell me about all of the machines and technology they have now,” Warren said. “He showed me how one athlete changed his forty-yard dash time from a 4.3 to somewhere in the 4.2s. My goal is always to be one of the fastest. Once he showed me that, it was so cool.”
There is a lot of to like about Warren’s work ethic and talent and the Crimson Tide coaching staff is letting him know he could bring a great deal to the table for them.
“During this pandemic, they want me to stay safe and in shape,” Warren said. “They like my ball skills, the way I can track the ball, and my how my hips move and my aggressiveness.”
Could Warren see himself playing for the Crimson Tide in the future?
“The best thing I like about Alabama is the history,” Warren said. “The amount of guys they put into the league and who graduate, as well. Throughout high school, all guys care about is Nick Saban. He is great. He puts his players in the best situations possible.”
Through it all, Warren remains humble and ready for his next opportunity, wherever that might come.
“This is my light at the end of the tunnel,” Warren said. “I was about to give it all up before this. All that I am receiving is unexpected. It is all a blessing and it amazes me every day to see how far I have come.”