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De La Salle senior cornerback and receiver Tre Dean watches those at the highest level and wants to be in their shoes someday.
“Just people in the NFL playing,” Dean said. “My uncle used to play in college, so I want to be like him.”
Seeing his uncle and those older than him make it to the most elite points of athletics, Dean’s days before high school showed him that those times were possible someday.
Dean’s football days started at 6 years old, and as the years went on, the future became clearer and clearer. Being a star in high school wasn’t just possible. College football was.
And when he was in his last season playing Pop Warner, Dean noticed something different.
“That was when I was really like, ‘Okay, I could actually be something,’” Dean said.
At De La Salle, Dean is part of a legendary football program and keying the Spartans’ continued success as one of California’s – and the country’s – top teams.
In a run-heavy veer scheme, Dean totaled one catch for 16 yards. Defensively, his cover skills were on full display by breaking up multiple passes, including one would-be touchdown, along with a physical presence to stop the run game.
With Dean in the fray, De La Salle surrendered 14.3 points per game and three shutouts – two of which occurred versus a pair of Bay Area teams ranked in the 25 Days of Christmas Bay Area Preseason Football Rankings in No. 10 San Ramon Valley and No. 11 St. Francis.
This offseason, Dean’s progress has only been amplified, featuring an honor as one of the top defensive backs at the National Preps Collegiate Showcase in Vacaville on Nov. 21, 2020.
“I’ve worked on being patient as a corner, like reading more and working on my speed,” Dean said.
Dean’s goals remain high entering his senior season, hoping to lift De La Salle – the runner-up in the California Interscholastic Federation’s Open Division state championship game for the past four years – to its first No. 1 finish in California since 2015, when the Spartans defeated Centennial-Corona.
“Goals for myself is to make the first team and then goals for my team is to win state,” Dean said.
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