De’Vante Bausby wandered around the Philadelphia Eagles’ locker room with permanent smile plastered on his face. He could not believe his good fortune, or how far he had come.
This was Sunday night, the aftermath of the Eagles’ 41-33 win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and Bausby — a Kansas City native and Hogan Prep graduate — nodded his head up and down at what had just become his new reality:
De’Vante Bausby. Super Bowl champion.
Yeah, he could get used to that.
“It’s crazy,” said Bausby, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound cornerback. “Everything I went through, and to be here with this organization and experience this ... I’m gonna definitely take it in.
“There have been ups and downs — a lot of downs. But I stayed with it, and I was blessed to be here with this organization.”
One of those downs, apparently, was his training camp stint last summer with the Chiefs.
Bausby, 25, looked good during the preseason and seemed to think he outperformed other cornerbacks on the roster. But when cut day came, Bausby was released as the Chiefs opted to go with a group consisting of Marcus Peters, Terrance Mitchell, Phillip Gaines, D.J. White, Steven Nelson and Kenneth Acker.
“(It was) me thinking I was going to be with an organization in training camp, preseason, and not being released,” Bausby said. “But I believe in myself, and you’re gonna have downs, you’re gonna have bumps in the road. You’ve just go to overcome.
“I thought I was pretty close (to making it),” Bausby said. “But it happened, and I wasn’t too down because I thought I played well in the preseason and I knew I was gonna land somewhere.”
Indeed. A week after his release, Philadelphia came calling. He worked out for the Eagles and they signed him to their practice squad.
“They loved me, so we did it,” said Bausby, who was also cut by the Chiefs after signing as an undrafted rookie with the club in 2015 out of Pitt State.
Bausby, who has also spent time with the Chicago Bears, came to love the next five months of his life, largely because he got to become a more complete player.
“In Kansas City, we were straight chest-to-chest, played man almost every play, which is good,” Bausby said. “I took those skills and techniques, which I learned from (defensive backs) coach Al Harris, and brought them here ... we play a lot of man here but a lot of Cover 3 as well, so it was an easy transition for me.”
He also came to appreciate the bond he built with his fellow Eagles defensive backs.
“Being in the locker room, being in the DB room, with guys like Malcolm Jenkins, Corey Graham, Rodney McLeod ... just learning from those guys is a blessing,” Bausby said. “(I learned) preparation, just looking up to them and seeing how they prepare for games in the film room and practice. That’s definitely something I gravitated to and I’m gonna take it with me.”
Bausby has taken to Philadelphia so much that he plans on staying there for the near future — he’s expected to finalize a reserve-futures deal with the club soon.
He already can’t wait until 2018.
“I heard the Super Bowl is in Atlanta next year,” Bausby said with a smile. “So that’s our final destination next year.”