Palm Beach Central junior receiver Angelo Jean-Louis working to make a name for himself
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
by Joe Kairalla
Palm Beach Central's Angelo Jean-Louis doesn't hesitate to tell you the two things in life he's most thankful for - football and his mother ... and not in that order.
The junior wide receiver is one of six brothers and two sisters raised by a single mother. The family moved to the United States from Haiti when he was three and he clearly realizes the sacrifices his mother made for him and his siblings.
"I owe everything to my mom, I know I wouldn't be here without her," Jean-Louis said. "She works so hard everyday to take care of us and has taught me that if I keep working hard, good things will happen."
Good things are happening to the 6-foot, 190-pound Jean-Louis, who is considered one of top junior receivers in the country.
Through six games, he has 14 catches for 331 yards and four touchdowns. He also returned a punt for a score.
Though only a junior, Jean-Louis, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds, said he's getting interest from top-name colleges. He's considering Southern Cal, Ohio State, Florida and Miami but "I don't really have a favorite yet, but if I had to pick one, I guess Miami," he said.
Jean-Louis started playing football at 5 years old in South Florida recreation leagues and realized that he had a talent.
"I've always been one of the best players on the field," he said. "Football has always come natural to me."
Palm Beach Central coach Rod Harris remembers the first time he saw Jean-Louis in the summer of 2008.
"He was this confident, dynamic football player," Harris said. "Since then he's gotten bigger, faster and stronger but still has that same explosiveness that makes him special."
After two and a half seasons with Jean-Louis, Harris has become just as impressed with Jean-Louis off the field.
"He's a joy to be around, one of the hardest workers I've seen," Harris said. "He stays out of trouble, always lightens up practice with his attitude and is just a wonderful young man."
Jean Louis had nine catches for 197 yards and two touchdowns last year for an offense that struggled with its passing game. This year, armed with a new quarterback in senior Ryan McGovern, Jean Louis has blossomed.
Palm Beach Central (3-3), after big District 8-6A losses to Seminole Ridge and Park Vista, will try to get back on the winning track when the Broncos travel to district-foe Boca Raton Friday, although Central will be without the injured McGovern.
"Team-wise, we're healthy and getting chances to win but we're not making plays when we need to," Jean-Louis said. "I want to turn that around."
A recent popular trend has seen standout players transfer schools after their junior year so they can compete for a state title as a senior. Jean-Louis said that will not be the case with him.
"I started here and I'm going to finish here," Jean-Louis said. "I still think we can accomplish something special."
Jean-Louis has confidence in his abilities (he compares himself to 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree) but knows hard work still needs to be done.
"I can score from anywhere," Jean-Louis said. "My best position is receiver, but I can make plays from anywhere. Returning kicks, playing defense, it doesn't matter ...
Still, "I need to continue to get better - I think I get can better every day.
"And I need to keep up the hard work so I can start repaying my mom for everything she's done for me."