Blue Chip profile: Demens’ defensive acumen registers through roof
This is the eighth in a series of profiles on the top 15 players on The Detroit News Blue Chip list. Today: No. 8, Detroit Country Day linebacker Kolin Demens.
Kolin Demens worked out for a couple of weeks in California last summer to prepare for his senior year while taking a look at a couple of campuses, including UCLA to get set for the future as well.
Demens, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker, was so impressed with UCLA that he ended up committing to the Bruins this fall while completing his senior season at Detroit Country Day.
And, Demens had to be impressed when UCLAbattled back from a 44-10 second-half deficit to defeat Texas A&M in the season-opener.
But, things changed for Demens’ future when UCLA slipped at rival USC to fall to 5-6, costing head coach Jim Mora his job.
Demens was still interested in UCLA as long as Bruins linebackers coach Scott White, who built a relationship with Demens, remained, but he too was out when new head coach Chip Kelly arrived, departing prior to the Cactus Bowl.
Now, Demens has moved on and has taken official visits to Iowa and Pittsburgh and the Hawkeyes and Panthers seem to be the front-runners with Signing Day set for Feb. 7.
Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi wanted to get Demens’ older brother Kenny Demens while he was defensive coordinator at Michigan State, but Kenny Demens played at rival Michigan before playing in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals.
Michigan State and Michigan have not been in contact with Kolin Demens, who had a strong senior year for Country Day, getting in on 60 tackles, including 12 for a loss. He also intercepted three passes and recovered three fumbles.
“Kolin’s versatility and athleticism are what stood out,” said Country Day coach Dan MacLean of Demens. “He threw four TDs in his high school career, ran for five TDs and caught seven TDs. He was a true triple threat.
“You know everyone’s recruited him as a linebacker, but the guy is a heck of a receiver. His ball skills were phenomenal, great hands and leaping ability and he is known primarily as a defensive player.”
Demens had 20 receptions for 275 yards and four TDs his senior year.
Iowa finished 8-5 last season, including a 27-20 win over Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl, and has multiple Metro Detroit area players on its rosters with offensive lineman Alaric Jackson (Detroit Renaissance) and defensive lineman Cedric Lattimore (Detroit East English) both starting. Jackson earned a spot on the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman team by BTN.com.
Pittsburgh, which finished 5-7, also had multiple metro area players, including starting defensive back Avonte Maddox (Detroit King) and tight end Nathan Bossory (Chelsea).
BLUE CHIP PROFILES