The White Fox, 90s R&B group Jodeci and a mission trip to Peru are all linked by one little mark of punctuation.
De’Vante Bausby, Deiondre’ Hall and Cre’Von LeBlanc have a few things in common. They’re all defensive backs who weren’t on the initial 53-man roster, they were all teammates in Chicago before they came to Philadelphia and they’re the only three players in the Eagles’ locker room with apostrophes in their first names.
“It just adds a little flavor to your name,” Hall said with a smile.
In this hard-hitting investigative piece, we talked to all three defensive backs about their unusual names and uncovered some gems:
LeBlanc has been with the Eagles since Nov. 5, when he was claimed off waivers. He didn’t actually give too much thought to his name until recently.
LeBlanc, 24, said his pastor sent him a video of him preaching last Sunday. The pastor was asking members of the congregation if they knew what their names meant. LeBlanc didn’t, so he looked it up.
“The story behind my name,” LeBlanc said. “Well, the meaning of ‘Cre’Von’ actually means fox. And my last name is LeBlanc, so that means white. … The White Fox.”
A simple Google search shows the name Crevon is derived from the Irish Crevan, which means Fox. So there’s some pieced together truth to what LeBlanc said.
As far as why he was named Cre’Von, LeBlanc said his dad is Craig LeBlanc Sr. and his brother is Craig LeBlanc Jr., and his mother wanted to keep the initials the same.
As for the apostrophe? That’s just a little tool to help folks know how to pronounce it.
“So there’s this group back in the 90s, real big, called Jodeci,” Bausby said. “You got K-Ci, JoJo and DeVante. It was a guy named DeVante in the group. My mom liked the name and she kind of rode with it. That’s not his real name, that’s his stage name. He kind of made that name up. Any DeVante you know is 26 or younger. You won’t find any DeVantes older than that. I think that’s factual. You can look that up.”
OK, so I looked that up, at least in the football world, by doing a search for the name “DeVante” on Pro-Football-Reference. It turned up six names, all were 25 or younger. Maybe you’re right, De’Vante.
De’Vante Harris (25), CB, Tampa Bay
Devante Bond (25), DE, Tampa Bay
Devante Downs (23), LB, Vikings
Devante Mays (24), RB, Packers
DeVante Parker (25), WR, Dolphins
DeVante Wilson (25), DE
But on that list only De’Vante Harris from the Bucs has the apostrophe. Bausby thought his mother copied the name exactly, but Donald Earl DeGrate (AKA DeVante Swing), didn’t use an apostrophe.
Hall’s apostrophe is the most unique because it’s just kind of hanging out there on the end of his first name. He explained that his godmother named him, but his grandmother always tried to call him “Dee-ahn-druh” and the apostrophe is supposed to accent the “aye” at the end of his name.
Hall wasn’t so particular about using the apostrophe until just before his senior year of high school when he made a mission trip to Lima, Peru. (He has also made a mission trip to Jamaica since then.) In order for everything to be passport-official, the apostrophe needed to be there.
“Literally ever since then, going into my senior year of high school,” Hall said, “I’ve had that on the end.”
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