A Role Model For Many
Graduate Transfer Demonte Hood Leads Both On And Off The Field
By: Luke Della
DENTON — North Texas’ defensive line is arguably its most skilled position. The Mean Green have at least three players at all three defensive line positions that play at any given time. Wedged in the middle of that line at nose tackle is 6-foot, 300-pound graduate transfer Demonte Hood.
Hood has played in all six games for North Texas this season, recording five tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss.
“To offensive linemen he’s a stubborn boulder in the ground that gets leverage and you can’t move,” said North Texas defensive line coach Derrick LeBlanc. “God only made so many 6-foot-4 defensive linemen but that doesn’t mean if you’re undersized you can’t be good.”
In the short time he’s been on campus, the 23-year-old Hood has found a way to make an impact both on and off the field. His teammates rave about his maturity, friendliness and leadership he’s been able to bring to a new locker room.
“I’ve always been a people person,” Hood said. “I like interacting and enjoying other people’s company.”
Hood didn’t arrive in to Denton until the first day of camp on August 7. It was also the first time LeBlanc met the Kansas State transfer.
Literally driving from Manhattan, Kansas, to the team’s first meeting, Hood called his position coach to let him know he might be late. As he pulled into the North Texas Athletic Center parking lot, LeBlanc waited at the door to meet his new nose tackle.
“I opened the door and saw this big guy hustling over, short of breath, and I go ‘oh my goodness he’s out of shape’,” LeBlanc recalled laughing. “I knew he’d missed most of last season with an injury but man, was that a surprise.”
Following the team meeting, LeBlanc sat Hood down and told him getting into shape should be his top priority. With the help of strength and conditioning coach Zack Womack, Hood dropped 20 pounds before the season started.
“He’s done an unbelievable job getting into shape,” LeBlanc said. “On top of everything else we’ve asked of him too. He’s shown dedication to himself and to this team.”
When asked to describe Hood in just one word, Mean Green redshirt freshman Bryce English was blunt with his answer.
“Role model,” he quickly said. “I know that’s more than one word but there isn’t any better way to describe him. He’s a role model to me.”
A brief skim of Hood and English’s biographies will show a lot in common.
Both are undersized nose tackles from the Dallas metro area that transferred in the past year to North Texas from Kansas State. But the positive influence Hood has left on English has made him the mentor he is today.
As an adolescent at DeSoto High School, English idolized Bowie High School’s senior defensive lineman, Hood.
“He was a shorter defensive lineman that made it to a premier college program,” English said of the elder Hood.
English modeled his game after Hood and gained confidence from Hood’s success. A few years later in 2014 when English received his offer to Kansas State, the first person he reached out to for guidance was his role model.
“I let him know exactly how it is,” Hood said. “I told him what to expect and what it’ll take and made sure he knew I was here for him.”
While at KSU, English and Hood spent time together off the football field. In a short amount of time, Hood became a mature figure that English felt was a positive influence on him. To English, Hood represents the good values.
“I like to try and live positively, “Hood said. “But more importantly just be myself. You can’t be any better kind of person.”
Hood and English have spent time together at local high schools, preaching about hard work and good character.
“He’s a guy I model not just my football game after but also who I am as I become an adult,” English said. “He’s thoughtful, experienced and when he speaks you can’t help but listen.”
So while their similar build first brought them together, Hood’s personality made them “brothers”. When English left Manhattan to be closer to family, as fate would have it, Hood followed a few months later.
When English recalled the moment he found out his role model was going to be back on the sidelines with him a huge smile came across his face.
“He’s a mentor to me and everyone he comes across,” English said. “Life is good when he’s around.