Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports


6 things to know about new 49ers CB Deommodore Lenoir

May 1, 2021 at 12:54 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers added some talent to the secondary in Round 5 of the 2021 NFL Draft, starting with Oregon cornerback Deommodore Lenoir.

Lenoir (5-11, 195), who goes by the nickname Dede, comes to the 49ers as a confident cornerback with a fine athletic background. He also has some experience battling against one of the 49ers' best receivers, Brandon Aiyuk.

Here are five things to know about Lenoir as he begins his career with the 49ers.

* A decorated recruit: Lenoir was one of the top 100 overall recruits in the country coming out of Salesian High School in Los Angeles. He was rated as the No. 1 overall athlete in the country by Rivals.com and at first believed he would play on offense in college. As a senior at Salesian, Lenoir had 108 carries for 1,172 yards and 17 touchdowns, 663 receiving yards for seven touchdowns, 595 passing yards and six touchdowns, with 52 tackles and one interception on defense. Lenoir had his pick of scholarship offers, including Alabama, LSU, Florida, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and USC.

* A disciplined upbringing: Lenoir is a fine student whose parents put him through Catholic schools growing up. He told the Los Angeles Times that being in Catholic schools taught him discipline ("You'd speak when spoken to," he said), as did growing up in L.A.

"Growing up in South Los Angeles taught me a lot," he said. "It taught me to stay focused in order to be able to go where I want to go, and that's to the NFL. You have to stay in the classroom and do what you're told to do."

* He'll get another shot at Brandon Aiyuk: Lenoir called 49ers receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who played college ball at Arizona State, the toughest receiver he's faced. Lenoir learned in college what NFL defenders began to learn last season -- Aiyuk is one tough player to cover.

"He was a twitchy guy," Lenoir told The Jet Press. "He was very explosive after the catch and those types of receivers tend to give me fits. I would say that's my biggest challenge, going up against receivers like him that are twitchy, have long arms, and good speed. He's a phenomenal football player."

* He decided against opting out: Lenoir was considering opting out for the 2020 season due to uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 but elected to come back for one more go-round. He had a chance to see the SEC teams playing football while the Pac-12 was inactive, and it led him to want to stay at Oregon throughout 2020.

"I was sitting in my house and I was watching LSU and Mississippi State, and I was like 'I'm going to miss having them games on the Saturday and being with my brothers having fun and being able to play on the field'," Lenoir said last year, per 247Sports. "Those are times you never get back. I was just thinking 'I can't do this for another month, like I would just rather be with them'."

He also feels like he grew in a positive way from deciding to stick around in Eugene.

"I feel like I became a smarter football player... It just made me want to be more of a leader knowing that I was one of the oldest guys coming back," Lenoir said earlier this year.

* He likes man-to-man, and thinks he could play safety too: Lenoir described himself in a media session earlier this year as "an aggressive, man-to-man press corner."

"I feel like I'm just the best at what I do," he said.

He was also asked if he could play safety in the NFL.

"I believe I can definitely play safety and I feel I'm one of the most versatile players in the draft -- highly underrated," Lenoir said.

As for what the 49ers have in mind?

"I've talked to them about playing nickel and outside, so I'm more about wherever the coaches need me," Lenoir said Saturday.

* Number zero: Lenoir decided to wear number zero last season as Oregon after wearing 6 and 15 earlier in his career. He made the decision in order to make an important personal statement.

"I came to the decision with all of the stuff going on in the world with racism, so I just took it as zero tolerance for racism," Lenoir said, per NBC Sports.





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