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East County Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020 1 year ago

East County Athlete of the Week: Jaleel Duncan

The Lakewood Ranch wideout talks getting into football and his future goals.
by: Ryan Kohn Sports Editor

Jaleel Duncan is a junior wide receiver and defensive back at Lakewood Ranch High. The 5-foot-9 Duncan had seven catches for 110 yards and a touchdown in the team's 28-0 win against Seminole High. 

When did you start playing football?

I started when I was 4. Honestly, I did not like football at first. I didn't like playing in the sun, the heat, while wearing all those pads. I was one of the crybabies at that point. Eventually, it clicked for me and I started enjoying it. 

What is the appeal now?

I want to go to a big [NCAA] Division I school. I want to make it to the NFL. That's my motivation. That's why I play. 

What is your best skill?

I would say my route running is my best skill. I believe I can do [well against] any defensive back. I have to have that mindset. I can get open. 

What has been your biggest challenge?

Keeping my focus. Staying in the game. I can't get too inside my head. I can't get mad or upset if things go bad. I have to remain motivated. 

What is your favorite memory?

I haven't thought about that before. Last week [against Seminole] I jumped over somebody after making a catch. That was cool because I'm 5-foot-9. Guys like me aren't known for being able to do that, so that was one of my favorite plays. 

What is your favorite food?

I like a meat lover's pizza. Pepperoni, sausage, bacon, all that stuff. 

What is your favorite movie?

"The Incredibles." I love action movies, those are mostly what I watch. 

What are your hobbies?

Most of the time I'll play a [video] game, then hit the field and work on running routes for a while. Other than that, I just spend time with family. 

What is your favorite subject?

I like math. I want to be an accountant someday. 

What is the best advice you have received?

Stay focused on your dreams. Never lose sight of why you play. 

Finish this sentence: "Jaleel Duncan is … "

… Jaleel Duncan. (Laughs.) I don't like to describe myself or get big-headed. I like to let other people describe who they see. 


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I’m the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. I was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. My biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. My strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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