Listed at 5-foot-9 and 158 pounds, former Boise State cornerback Donte Deayon was already undersized among college players. In the NFL? He’s one of the smallest there is.
But what folks around here know is that there is a heck of a lot of talent in that diminutive frame, and he’s showing it in his second season with New York Giants.
Deayon was on the team’s practice squad last year after going undrafted, and did not practice the second half of the season because of an injury. In the preseason, he’s been fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster. He made a heck of a case Saturday against the Jets.
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Late in the second quarter, Deayon intercepted Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg and ran it back for a 36-yard touchdown, giving the Giants a 29-3 lead, his 1,000-watt smile showing as he waltzed into the end zone. Last week, Deayon made what appeared to be an athletic interception, but a penalty called it back.
“Donte Deayon’s been playing some good ball for us,” coach Ben McAdoo told Newsday, with the publication adding of Deayon, “a popular player who is beloved by the coaches for his attitude and spirit.”
Deayon also has spent time on special teams, returning kicks. He fumbled a punt return in the first preseason game. On Saturday, he had a 15-yard return on a kickoff. Former Boise State safety Darian Thompson is a likely starter for the Giants. Deayon had 17 career interceptions at Boise State (fifth-most in school history) and Thompson had 19 (third-most).