Desoto County NewsDesoto County Sports

Nakobe Dean set to head back to football after injury

Photo: Nakobe Dean and Hope Center co-founder Stacy Dodd at Friday’s recognition dinner. (Bob Bakken/

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean of Horn Lake said Friday night he’s just heard the word he’s been waiting to hear for quite some time: clear. That’s clear, as in cleared to return to football after a foot injury last season sidelined him. Dean actually suffered two foot injuries in 2023; a right foot injury early in the year and then a left foot injury that put him on season-ending injured reserve.  

So Dean was happy about the good news on his foot and happy to speak to those involved in the Hope Center Friday night at the Tekila Modern Mexican restaurant in Southaven.

Dean, part of an unbeaten MHSAA 6A state championship football team at Horn Lake and later part of a national championship squad with the Georgia Bulldogs, remembers what the Hope Center has done for youngsters and that he aided a struggling Hope Center about three years ago. That’s when he was among 22 college football players able to give $10,000 to the nonprofit as part of the Allstate Good Works Team.

“When that opportunity arose to make a donation to a charity that was in my hometown, I thought of the Hope Center right away,” said Dean.  “I’m all for the next generation and I’m all for pouring from the older generation into the next generation.”  

During Friday’s event, which included dinner and check presentations to the Hope Center from Associated Wholesale Grocers and Brown Missionary Baptist Church, Dean, his mother Nekeeta, and mentorship program coordinator Debi Julian were recognized for their support.

“I feel like it’s always good to have someone there for the kids, the next generation, to talk to and look up to and be positive,” Dean said.  

The word that he was cleared to go from his foot injury means he’s set to head strong into training camp, which for Philadelphia will be in about six weeks.  

“We get off for training, getting ready for the season, trying to be the best version of ourselves and the best version of myself,” he said.  

In between injuries last season Dean made 22 solo tackles and assisted on eight other tackles for the Eagles. Eleven of those tackles came during a 38-31 victory over the Washington Commanders in late October last year.  Philadelphia was 11-6-0 last fall, second to Dallas in the NFC East standings.