Devon Kennard is a professional athlete, businessman and philanthropist. He currently plays linebacker in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals, has a real estate portfolio of over 50 properties and educates on how to build generational wealth. In 2019 Devon was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and team captain for the second consecutive season while with the Detroit Lions. He also matched his career high sack total of 7 sacks and managed to add 1 touchdown, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble, 58 tackles and 9 tackles for loss. The Lions organization felt Devon deserved national recognition for his efforts on and off the field. Nominating him to be a finalist for the Walter Payton Man of The Year Award is a confirmation of his impact and contributions both with his team and in the community. The league wide award recognizes the highest performing players on the field who are also making a huge impact in their communities and philanthropic efforts. Before joining the Lions, Devon was with the New York Giants. He was drafted by the Giants in 2014 in the 5th round and rose to be a starting rookie and maintained that position all four years with the Giants.
Devon’s philanthropic efforts in Detroit were spearheaded by his relationship with the Midnight Golf Program which is an after school program in the heart of Detroit. The Midnight Golf Program is a mentorship program that teaches kids how to play golf but also helps prepare these students for college and beyond by teaching them how to take and apply for the SAT’s and ACT’s and apply for scholarships and loans. Devon fell in love with the Midnight Golf Program and created the Devon Kennard Scholarship Fund dedicated to Midnight Golf Students. Now that Devon will be playing for the Arizona Cardinals (which is his hometown team) he is looking forward to getting started and making a major impact immediately on the field, in his philanthropic initiatives as well as his business endeavors. Devon’s reputation for being exceptional on the field and off started in college where he graduated with his undergrad and master degrees in Communication Management before entering into the NFL.
OFF THE FIELD
While earning the recognition as a High School All American and top 10 prospect in football Devon managed to also maintain a 3.9 GPA in high school. Devon chose to go to the University of Southern California where he graduated with his undergrad degree in Communication in 3 years. Upon finishing his undergrad degree, Devon immediately started his master degree in Communication Management with a focus on business management and he was able to earn his progressive masters degree in a year in a half while maintaining a 3.8 GPA. Devon is one of only a handful of players in the NFL to have already earned an undergrad and masters degree the day they were drafted. Once entering the NFL, Devon leveraged his communication skills and new platform to build business relationships that led him to become a real estate investor. Devon now has over $1.5 million in assets under management which does not include his passive real estate portfolio where he operates as a limited partner in commercial deals across the country.
ON THE FIELD
Devon belongs to a family of footballers; his father played in the NFL 11 years and started for the Cowboys in the 1996 Super Bowl. Devon’s NFL career began in 2014 where he was the 174th draft pick (5th round) by the New York Giants. Devon’s NFL career progressed quickly, he earned a starting spot his rookie season and was voted NFC Defensive Player of Week December 7, 2014. Devon started for the Giants his entire time with the team from 2014-2017 totaling 203 tackles, 9 sacks and 1 interception. He is known for his versatility and ability to play as a linebacker and defensive end. This versatility led to the Detroit Lions signing Devon to a 3 year deal. Devon parted ways with the Detroit Lions after the 2019 season and signed a new 3 year contract with the Arizona Cardinals. Signing with the Cardinals is significant for Devon and his family because Phoenix Arizona is his hometown where he spent his whole life and his father Derek played for the Arizona Cardinals as well making them only the 3rd father son combination to ever play for the Cardinals organization.