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Local Prep Stars Become NFL First-Round Draft Picks
By Amanda Scurlock, Sports Editor
Published May 5, 2022

New York Giants edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux (Twitter photo)

Among the 32 first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, five were natives of Southern California. Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, USC wide receiver Drake London, Washington corner Trent McDuffie, Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave, and Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd had their dreams come true on Thursday.

Thibodeaux, a native of South Central Los Angeles, was drafted fifth overall to the New York Giants. His defensive efforts with the Oregon Ducks helped the team have three consecutive Pac-12 Championship appearances and win two Pac-12 titles. During the Duck’s Pac-12 title victory against the USC Trojans in 2020, Thibodeaux became game MVP for his two tackles for loss for 11 yards and one sack for a loss of nine yards.  In 2019, he became the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

He spent the first half of his high school years at Dorsey, becoming the CIF Los Angeles City Section Division I defensive lineman of the Year as a sophomore. He then transferred to Oaks Christian, where he led the Lions to a CIF Southern Section Division II championship title.

“It’s just a blessing, your family puts in so much to get you here,” Thibodeaux said in his introductory press conference with the Giants. “Seeing your mom and your family and all the sacrifices that they made and now to be able to rejoice with them and really celebrate this moment.”

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave (Twitter photo)

The Atlanta Falcons acquired Moorpark native London eighth overall. He arrived at USC as a dual-sport athlete, playing basketball and football. In 2021, he became the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. London also won USC’s MVP and Offensive Perimeter Player of the Year awards. As a Trojan, he made 72 receptions for 1069 yards and eight touchdowns.

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In 2018 London was named All-Camino League Co-Wide Receiver of the Year with the Moorpark Musketeers. He also played basketball for Moorpark, scoring 29.2 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game as a senior.

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie (Twitter photo)

“I’m a fearless player in the way that I go attack the ball,” London said. “I could care less who’s trying to hit me, it’s football at the end of the day, I know I’m gonna get hit. I just look at it as the modern-day gladiators out there.”

Olave of San Ysidro went 11th overall to the New Orleans Saints. He set the Ohio State record with 35 receiving touchdowns. Olave leaves Ohio State with a degree in consumer and family financial service. During his career, Olave made 176 receptions for 2711 yards.  In 2019, he was one of the nation’s top wide receivers.

Olave attended Eastlake and Mission Hills high schools. He also ran track and played basketball.

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Devin Lloyd (Facebook photo)

The Kansas City Chiefs acquired corner Trent McDuffie, making him the 21st overall pick. During his career with the Washington Huskies, he made 71 solo tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss for 12 yards, two interceptions and 10 passes defended. This past season, he earned All-Pac-12 first team honors.

McDuffie has also helped to get St John Bosco a 13-1 overall record during his senior year.

Lloyd got acquired by the Jacksonville Jaguars as the 27th overall pick. He spent three seasons with the Utah Runnin Utes. In 2021, he had a season-high of 13 tackles against San Diego State. During his career, Lloyd made 84 solo tackles, 21.0 tackles for loss for 94 yards, 8.5 sacks for a loss of 64 yards, and three passes defended.

At Otay Ranch high school, he played punter, wide receiver, and safety. During his senior year, Lloyd made 52 tackles, eight interceptions for 493 yards, and six touchdowns. He also played basketball.

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