Dermot Lavelle

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Dermot Lavelle
Dermot Lavelle returning a kick during the 2023 season
No. 40 – Yellowknife Wraiths
Position:Cornerback
Personal information
Born: (1994-08-26)August 26, 1994 (aged 45)
Castlebar, Ireland
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
College:Arizona
NSFL Draft:2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Career history
Roster status:Retired
Career highlights and awards
Career NSFL statistics as of Week 17, 2028
Total tackles:832
Pass deflections:249
Interceptions:57
Forced fumbles:2
Fumble recoveries:2
Defensive touchdowns:10

Dermot Lavelle (born August 26, 1994) is a former American football cornerback who played for the Yellowknife Wraiths of the National Simulation Football League (NSFL). He played college football for the University of Arizona Wildcats before entering the professional ranks in 2016 as a waiver player. He would go on to be drafted first overall in the 2017 ISFL Draft by the Yellowknife Wraiths, where he would spent his entire career. Lavelle has won the DBOY and DPOY award once each in his career and been invited to the NSFL Pro Bowl in each of his thirteen seasons in the NSFL and is widely considered to be one of the best cornerbacks in the leagues history. Lavelle is in the NSFL Hall of Fame.

Early years

Lavelle was born in Castlebar, Ireland on August 26th 1994. He spent the entirety of his childhood and the majority of his teens living in the west of Ireland and predominately played soccer growing up as a youth.

College career

Lavelle attended the University of Arizona, where he played for Rich Rodriguez's UAZ football team from 2015–2016.

Senior year

Lavelle played all 13 games of Arizona's 7–6 record season and managed to consistently perform from both the cornerback and free safety spot despite his lack of experience at the collegiate level. Lavelle finished his first and final season at Arizona with 47 tackles, 4 interceptions, 18 pass deflections and 1 defensive touchdown.

Career NCAA statistics

Career statistics Tackles Sacks Interceptions Other
Season Team Games Reg TFL Total Sack Int IntTD DefTD FFum FRec PD Safety
2015 UAZ 13 41 6 47 1 4 1 1 1 0 18 0

Professional career

Coming out of UAZ in 2016, Lavelle was a projected second-round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts. Many had compared his current ability and ceiling to Miami Dolphins starting cornerback Xavien Howard who would later go on to be drafted 38th overall in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. However just a month prior to to the 2016 NFL Draft, rumors began to circulate about Lavelle's work ethic and commitment to the game. Allegations regarding performance enhancing substances supposedly used during his time on the Wildcats during the 2016 NCAA season were constantly on the lips of the media, these claims were reported from former teammates of Lavelle during his time in Arizona. Three weeks prior to the draft, Lavelle suffered an apparent fractured clavicle injury according to his camp and had to pull out of the 2016 NFL Draft, worth noting is that these claims were never actually confirmed by any medical professional outside of Lavelle's circle.

48 days after the 2016 NFL Draft, the inaugural NSFL Draft was televised and many had speculated about Lavelle's intention to declare. However despite Lavelle's social media campaign praising the NSFL and expressing his willingness to declare for the 2016 ISFL Draft, no formal paperwork was submitted. Lavelle later blamed his agent at the time for the mistake, despite this Lavelle declared for the 2017 ISFL Draft and entered the league as its first-ever waiver player.

Lavelle competed in all 7 aspects of the NSFL combine and scored very well among a cornerbacks class at the time which included Marc Spector, Tyler Oles, Darnell Turner and Rafael Reyes. Lavelle scored the joint highest among cornerbacks in the Wonderlic with a score of 40, Turner also scored 40. Lavelle was also the strongest cornerback, amassing a total of 20 reps on the bench press while also recording the best 3 cone drill time (6.84) of the entire 2017 NSFL Draft class which at the time was the 8th quickest all time.

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length 40‑yd dash 20‑ss 3‑cone Vert jump Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 0 in
(1.83 m)
205 lb
(93 kg)
34 58 in
(0.88 m)
4.40 s 4.18 s 6.84 s 31.7 in
(0.81 m)
130 ft .2 in
(39.63 m)
20 reps 40

Yellowknife Wraiths

2016

On June 4th 2016, the Yellowknife Wraiths signed Lavelle to a one-year, $2,000,000 waiver contract which would expire at the end of the 2016 season. Prior to the beginning of the season, Head coach Bubba Nuck Sr. named Lavelle as the #2 cornerback for the upcoming season, insisting that he will sit behind and learn from 2016 draftee Dirk Cutter. Lavelle starred in all 14 regular season games for the Yellowknife Wraiths and performed well above expectations considering his lack of experience at this level, he finished the season with 57 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumbled recovery, 4 interceptions and 18 pass deflections. Lavelle was named to the 2016 ISFL Pro Bowl in his first ever NSFL season.

2017

After being drafted first overall in the 2017 NSFL Draft, Lavelle signed a 3 year contract worth $14,000,000 with $6,000,000 in the first year of the contract. At the beginning of the 2017 season, new Wraiths GM Spike Crown declared openly that Lavelle would be the #1 cornerback going forward, succeeding his past mentor, Dirk Cutter who would now line up in the #2 spot. Lavelle finished 2017 with similar performances to his 2016 campaign, 58 tackles, 4 interceptions and 15 pass deflections. Lavelle also had 1 reception for 18 yards. Lavelle was named to the NSFL 2017 Pro Bowl for the second consecutive season in a row.

2018

Lavelle in 2018 had the worst season of his 3 year long career, only amassing 47 tackles, 2 interceptions and 12 pass deflections. Lavelle also made his debut on the special teams side of the ball and had 14 kick returns for 279 yards , 11 punt returns for 508 yards and 1 touchdown. Lavelle was named to his third consecutive pro bowl, continuing his record of being named to a pro bowl in every season he has played in the NSFL.

2019

Lavelle's fourth season saw him bounce back from a disappointing previous year, 62 tackles, 5 interceptions, 20 pass deflections and 2 defensive touchdowns combined with 26 kick returns for 608 yards and 1 touchdown with 39 punt returns for 270 yards proved Lavelle could play on all sides of the ball. 2019 saw Yellowknife and Lavelle win their first ever NSFC title 26-20 over the Philadelphia Liberty. Lavelle was named to his fourth pro bowl in as many seasons, after being named in the NSFL 2019 Pro Bowl.

2020

Prior to the 2020 season, Lavelle signed a 11 year, $55,000,000 contract with player options on each year ending. 2020 saw Lavelle achieve his record high of 74 tackles, 4 interceptions, 15 pass deflections and 1 defensive touchdown to end the season. The 2020 offseason saw Lavelle's Yellowknife side claim their second consecutive NSFC title, this time beating the Baltimore Hawks 37-12 at the Burial Grounds. Lavelle was then named to his fifth pro bowl in his career.

2021

Lavelle's sixth season saw him finish the year with 68 tackles, 1 forced fumble , 1 fumble recovery, 4 interceptions, 15 pass deflections and 2 defensive touchdowns. On the special teams side of the ball he returned 34 kick returns for 882 yards, 34 punt returns for 466 yards and 1 touchdown. Lavelle also made a return to the offensive side of the ball, catching his first pass in three seasons, he caught 3 passes for 29 yards. Lavelle was named to his sixth pro bowl at the end of the 2021 NSFL season.

2022

2022 was one of Lavelle's most dominating seasons accruing 55 tackles, 7 interceptions and 16 pass deflections, 24 kick returns for 692 yards with 39 punt returns for 399 yards and 2 touchdowns while on the offensive side of the ball , Lavelle had 15 receptions for 273 yards and 3 receiving touchdowns. Lavelle was invited to his seventh consecutive pro bowl following the climax of the 2022 NSFL season.

2023

Lavelle sought a bounce back to form in the 2023 season and did just that, to finish the season he racked up 56 tackles, 4 interceptions and 18 pass deflections on the defensive side of the ball. On the special teams aspect he had 34 kick returns for 931 yards and 9 punt returns for 70 yards. Lavelle also caught 33 passes for 477 yards and 1 touchdown. 2023 became both Lavelle and Yellowknife's most successful season to date, winning their third NSFC title (38-24) over the Baltimore Hawks at the Burial Grounds. Spike Crown's side then went on to win the franchises first ever Ultimus title, defeating the New Orleans Second Line 24-13 in Yellowknife. Despite only entering the fifth of his eleven year contract with the Yellowknife Wraiths, following their Ultimus success, Lavelle decided to opt out of his existing contract and test free agency. Lavelle received pitches from various staff and players of six different teams but ultimately decided to re-sign with the Yellowknife Wraiths on a 1 year, $5,000,000 contract which featured a no trade clause. Lavelle claimed his eight consecutive pro bowl invitation at the 2023 seasons end.

2024

Lavelle's ninth season in the NSFL would be his best and despite his teams poor regular season record costing them to narrowly miss out on playoffs (7-7 to Colorado Yeti's 8-6), Lavelle's individual performances were exceptional. He racked up 76 tackles, 28 pass deflections and 8 interceptions en route to winning his first ever Defensive Player of the year and Defensive Back of the year Awards. On the special teams side of the ball, Lavelle had 32 kick returns for 921 yards and 1 touchdown while returning a career high 46 punts for 532 yards and 3 touchdowns. Offensively Lavelle caught 37 receptions for 618 yards and 6 touchdowns. Lavelle also snagged his ninth consecutive pro bowl nomination in 2024.

2025

Lavelle's tenth season in the league allowed him to build on last years terrific DPOY performances. Unfortunately Yellowknife for the second consecutive season failed to make the playoffs, after falling to a 8-6 record behind the playoff bound 9-5 Colorado Yeti. Lavelle managed 68 tackles, 6 interceptions, 25 pass deflections and 2 defensive touchdowns en route to his second best season of his career. Returning the ball, Lavelle had 38 kick returns for 1145 yards and 2 touchdowns, while returning punts he had 36 attempts for 478 yards and 2 touchdowns. Offensively Lavelle saw limited action, catching just 11 receptions for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns. Lavelle got his tenth consecutive pro bowl nomination in 2025.

2026

Lavelle's eleventh season saw him finish with a career high in tackles (78), 4 interceptions, 26 pass deflectons and 1 defensive touchdown during regular season play. On the special teams side, he racked up a career high 1,312 kick return yards and 1 touchdown from 48 kick returns, with 273 yards from 29 punt returns. This would also be Lavelles final season on the offensive side of the ball where he would catch 11 passes for 303 yards. Yellowknife continued their playoff drought for the third consecutive season, limping to a 4-10 regular season record. Lavelle was named to his eleventh consecutive pro bowl during the 2026 season.

2027

Lavelle would finish his twelfth NSFL season with a career low 2 interceptions, 18 pass deflections and 68 tackles. On the returning side of the ball he amassed, 734 yards from 37 kick returns and 0 punt returns. Lavelle would also not take a single snap on the offensive side of the ball due to a NSFL rule change that prohibited players from playing on both sides of the ball. Sadly for Yellowknife, they saw their fourth consecutive playoff miss after finishing with a 3-11 record at the bottom of the NSFC. Lavelle saw his twelfth consecutive pro bowl invitation after the 2027 season.

2028

Lavelle's final season saw a return to form, snagging 3 interceptions alongside 23 pass deflections and 65 tackles. Lavelle returned 46 kicks for 931 yards and did not take any punt returns. Yellowknife made a slight improvement on their previous season, finishing 4-10 but ultimately at the bottom of the NSFC. Lavelle would play his 182nd and final game in the NSFL on the road to the Colorado Yeti, losing 38 -24. Lavelle's final season ended with a pro bowl selection, making the record 13 straight pro bowl nominations (the most in NSFL history).

Career NSFL statistics

Regular season Tackles Sacks Interceptions Other Kick Returns Punt Returns
Season Team Games Reg TFL Total Sack Int IntTD DefTD FFum FRec PD Safety Yds Avg KR TD Yds Avg PR TD
2016 YKW 14 57 0 57 0 4 0 0 1 1 18 0
2017 YKW 14 58 0 58 0 4 0 0 0 0 15 0
2018 YKW 14 47 0 47 0 2 0 0 0 0 12 0 279 19.9 0 508 11 1
2019 YKW 14 62 0 62 0 5 2 2 0 0 20 0 608 23.4 1 270 6.9 0
2020 YKW 14 74 0 74 0 4 1 1 0 0 15 0 658 23.5 0 456 12 1
2021 YKW 14 68 0 68 0 4 2 2 1 1 15 0 882 25.9 0 466 13.7 1
2022 YKW 14 55 0 55 0 7 0 0 0 0 16 0 692 28.8 0 399 10.2 2
2023 YKW 14 56 0 56 0 4 2 2 0 0 18 0 931 27.4 0 70 7.8 0
2024 YKW 14 76 0 76 0 8 0 0 0 0 28 0 921 28.8 1 532 11.6 3
2025 YKW 14 68 0 68 0 6 2 2 0 0 25 0 1145 30.1 2 478 13.3 2
2026 YKW 14 78 0 78 0 4 1 1 0 0 26 0 1312 27.3 1 273 9.4 0
2027 YKW 14 68 0 68 0 2 0 0 0 0 18 0 734 19.8 0
2028 YKW 14 65 0 65 0 3 0 0 0 0 23 0 931 20.2 0
Career 182 832 0 832 0 57 10 10 2 2 249 0 9,093 25.2 5 3,452 10.9 10
Playoffs Tackles Sacks Interceptions Other Kick Returns Punt Returns
Season Team Games Reg TFL Total Sack Int IntTD DefTD FFum FRec PD Safety Yds Avg KR TD Yds Avg PR TD
2016 YKW 1 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2017 YKW 1 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2019 YKW 2 10 0 10 0 1 0 0 0 0 5 0 138 19.7 0 20 10 0
2020 YKW 2 10 0 10 0 1 0 0 0 0 5 0 133 26.6 0 43 8.6 0
2021 YKW 1 3 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 20 20 0 28 14 0
2022 YKW 1 4 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 133 22.2 0
2023 YKW 2 14 0 14 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 190 27.1 0
Career 10 51 0 51 0 4 0 0 0 1 14 0 614 23.6 0 91 10.1 0

Awards and records

Awards

Team
Individual

Records

NSFL
Career
  • 2036; Currently sits in 1st all time for career interceptions (57)
  • 2036; Currently sits in 1st all time for career pass deflections (249)
  • 2036; Currently sits in 1st all time for career defensive touchdowns (10)
  • 2036; Currently sits in ??th all time for career tackles (832)
  • 2036; Currently sits in 1st all time for career punt return yards (3,452)
  • 2036; Currently sits in 1st all time for career punt return touchdowns (10)
  • 2036; Currently sits in 1st all time for career kick return yards (9,093)
  • 2036; Currently sits in joint 1st all time for career kick return touchdowns (5)
Season
  • 2036; Holds record for most punt return touchdowns in a season (3)
Game
  • 2036; Holds record for most punt return yards in a single game (214)
  • 2036; Holds record for most punt return touchdowns in a single game (2)
Yellowknife Wraiths
  • 2036; Currently sits in 1st all time for career interceptions (57)
  • 2036; Currently sits in 1st all time for career pass deflections (249)
  • 2036; Currently sits in 1st all time for career defensive touchdowns (10)
  • 2036; Currently sits in 1st all time for career tackles (832)
  • 2036; Currently sits in 1st all time for career punt return yards (3,452)
  • 2036; Currently sits in 1st all time for career punt return touchdowns (10)
  • 2036; Currently sits in 1st all time for career kick return yards (9,093)
  • 2036; Currently sits in joint 1st all time for career kick return touchdowns (5)

References