The Lakewood Ranch wideout talks getting into football and his future goals.
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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