Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
Detroit College Prep at Northwestern senior Jonte’ Lenoir is not likely to intimidate anyone with his size as a defensive tackle.
At 5-8, 250 pounds, Lenoir is proof that good defensive tackles sometimes come in compact packages.
What he lacks in physical stature, Lenoir more than makes up for with speed, power and a nose for the ball. He was the total package in the Colts’ 20-6 victory against Central and has been named the Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week.
“I feel very proud of myself,’’ said Lenoir, in his second year on the varsity. “This means I’m actually doing better than last year.”
DCP-Northwestern coach Jimmy Hill sang high praises after Lenoir seized control against Central, finishing with a team-leading 10 tackles, three for losses and two quarterback sacks.
“He was in the backfield every single play,” Hill said. “If he didn’t make the tackle, he contributed to forcing the ball carrier into somebody else who did make the tackle.
“Jonte’ is definitely one of my top two or three football players,” Hill continued. “He’s one of hardest working kids I have and he does great in school. If you look at him on film, he hasn’t been blocked all year. I’d put his production up against any defensive tackle in the state of Michigan play-for-play on film. He’s quick off the ball, he’s explosive and he’s wonderful to coach.”
In addition to his coach, Lenoir impressed himself with his dominance against the Trailblazers.
“I did great,’’ he said. “That’s the best game I’ve had in my career. I was just doing what I was supposed to do; making sure I was getting to the ball.”
Lenoir anticipates having more big games on the college level with an ultimate dream of playing on Sundays.
“My true dream is to go the NFL, but if that doesn’t work out I’m going to school and pursue my career in engineering,’’ he said.
Lenoir said he’s been getting some letters in the mail but he hasn’t received any scholarship offers.
“He wants to go to Michigan, Notre Dame and the bigger Division 1 schools,” Hill said. “He went to all the offseason camps and performed well. But being that he’s a shorter guy and plays on the defensive line, a lot of those schools are passing him over.”
The Colts as a whole have been overlooked this season, but entered Friday’s game against Western with a 3-1 overall and 2-1 record in the PSL West.
“What I’ve told my team is that we’ve got to win games like that if we want to be recognized as one of the upper echelon teams in the PSL,” Hill said.
The coach is confident Lenoir will get a chance to play at the next level.
“I fully expect him to get a scholarship offer,” Hill said. “ Maybe it will have to be at the Division II level. But I’ve been coaching football for 13 years and I know a football player when I see one. I know Jonte’ can play college football.”
The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week award is representative of the league’s top boys and girls athletes. The award is presented by the DPS Office of Athletics and sponsored for the fourth year in a row by Detroit-area McDonald’s owner-operators.