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What is Deebo Samuel’s real name? Why is he called Deebo?

When Tyshun Raequan Samuel was 12, he earned the nickname Deebo, which he and all of the NFL media still go by today.

When Tyshun Raequan Samuel was 12, he earned the nickname Deebo, which he and all of the NFL media still go by today.
Kyle TeradaUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Tyshun Raequan Samuel, better known as Deebo Samuel, was born in Inman, South Carolina and has become a star wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers due to his uncompromising character. A rookie when the Niners reached the Super Bowl in the 2019 season, Samuel still turned out to be a key part of his team’s offensive game plan as they went down to the Kansas City Chiefs in Miami. Four years later at Super Bowl LVIII, the 28-year-old featured in his second showpiece championship game against the same opponent, with the same outcome, but this time as a top NFL star.

Deebo Samuel in Netflix's Receiver

The reason behind Deebo

Before establishing himself as a dominant force on the football field, Samuel was a two-sport athlete who showcased his skills in his hometown. However, he is not just known for his athletic prowess.

Off the field, he had a mischievous and playful nature that earned him the reputation of being a lively character. His friend, Kevin Ryan, remembers Samuel’s daring and playful nature, saying, “He did love stuff. Whatever they got, he’s going to take it, man, going to take it and play with it, do what he wanna do with it.”

Samuel’s spirited behavior earned him a distinctive nickname - Deebo, which his father Galen was first to coin. Inspired by the notorious bully character from the 1995 blockbuster film “Friday,” Samuel embraced the moniker.

Samuel’s similarities with Friday character

He embodied the essence of the character portrayed by the late actor Tommy Lister Jr and originally written by Ice Cube. Samuel explained, “I really don’t remember when the nickname started, but I remember my dad’s first time telling me the story when I was about 19 years old. He’s like, ‘You know, your name, that’s the bully in a movie’. My dad gave me the nickname. He used to say I liked to take things. It stuck ever since.”

Samuel’s transition from troublemaker to football standout did not diminish the impact of the Deebo nickname. Wherever he went, the chant of “Deebo” echoed, emphasizing the lasting impact of his playful yet tough persona.

When Samuel was 12 years old and playing in Little League football, nobody ever called him Tyshun. The transformation was complete, and Deebo seamlessly translated onto the football field, promising opponents a formidable challenge.