Pierre Desir stands out for more than his height

Posted Feb 23, 2014

Pierre Desir is a tall cornerback from a tiny school, but he’s got a lot more going for him at the NFL Scouting Combine than his 6-foot-1 frame in an era where bigger corners are a hot commodity.

INDIANAPOLIS – For a player from little Lindenwood University, Pierre Desir stands out among the cornerbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine.

That’s because Desir stands 6 feet 1, making him one of only four cornerbacks ranked in the Top 25 at the position by’s Rob Rang. Two are 6-3 – Nebraska’s Stanley Jean-Baptiste and Utah’s Keith McGill; and Liberty’s Walt Aikens also is 6-1, but he wasn’t even invited to the Combine.

Tall corners are suddenly a hot commodity after the way 6-3 Richard Sherman and 6-1 Byron Maxwell made life miserable for Peyton Manning in the Seahawks’ 43-8 romp over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

And yes, Desir is well aware of that.

“Watching Richard Sherman and the other bigger corners has helped me, it helps scouts look at me in a different light to see that I’m a guy with range and that I can be one of the great big corners in the future,” he said Sunday, sitting at a table in the media room at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“I think a lot of teams are looking for bigger corners who can be aggressive because a lot of the receivers now are 6-3 plus. Just a guy who is tall and long that can put their hands on receivers and be able to run with them as well, so height would be a big plus just because the receivers are a little bit bigger now.”

In addition to his height, Desir also has a story that sets him apart. He began his college career at Washburn, but after three year needed to “go home” to Lindenwood so his family could help with his young family – a wife and two daughters.

“Just trying to balance football, school and taking care of my kids just didn’t all work out, so I decided to move back home,” he said of St. Charles, Mo., where Lindenwood is located. “Just so I could get some assistance from my parents and my wife’s parents.”

One problem: He didn’t have a scholarship at Lindenwood, so working became part of his daily routine.

“I would wake up in the morning, get my older daughter ready for school and take her to school and then I would go to this place called Labor Ready, which is a temp service,” Desir said. “I did all different kinds of jobs – cleaned sewers, worked in sewage.”

Then, it was off to school for his classes and, oh yeah, football practice.

And when did he sleep? “Can’t,” he said with a smile.

But here he is, ready to take the next step in his unlikely career by issuing a wakeup call with his performance at the Combine.

“It was always a dream and a goal of mine,” Desir said of being at the Combine. “But my priority was to take care of my family first and whatever came with it I was just going to take.”

Now, it’s a matter of which team will take him – and where – in the NFL Draft.