November 21, 2019

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Diamond in the Rough: Jaylin Pendleton

Jaylin Pendleton is a senior wide receiver for Baker High School (Baker, LA). Originally from Monroe, LA, Jaylin moved to Baker, LA with his mother at the age of ten years old. Last year, Jaylin suffered an injury which sidelined him for the entire 2018 season, but is looking to make a strong comeback in his senior campaign for the Baker Buffaloes. As a wide receiver, expect Pendleton to pose as a serious deep threat for the Baker offense. In his scrimmage versus Donaldsonville High School (Donaldsonville, LA) Pendleton accounted for 3 receptions and 98 yards, including a 67 yard diving grab versus one-on-one coverage, all on his first game back in over a year. Pendleton stands at 5’10 and weighs 150 lbs, with the ability to play a multitude of positions including corner and safety. Jaylin was kind enough to take time out of his day to answer a few questions about himself and his team at Baker High.

 

What attracted you to the sport of football and what age were you when you first started playing?

  • I’ve always enjoyed watching football from a young age, especially since my cousin Xavier Woods (Dallas Cowboys) played in the NFL and I would watch him play on Sundays. My first time playing football was when I was 10 and I moved from Monroe, LA to Baker, LA with my mom.

So, outside of football, what are some other activities do you enjoy doing in your free time? Do you play any other sports in high school?

  • When I was young I always loved playing basketball with friends. This year I am playing basketball for the first time in high school. I also run track for my high school team. I just love to compete.

What are your expectations for the upcoming season? Do you have any personal or team goals you want to accomplish.

  • As far as team goals, Coach Randall always has us focused on the next game. Championships are great, but looking ahead to those things can make a team unfocused and unprepared. So, I’d say just taking it game by game and getting the seniors to keep showing up as leaders.
  • Personal goals aren’t as important as the team, but I want to just keep improving my game and show everyone that I can be the team’s deep threat on offense.

You mention your ability as a deep threat receiver, would you consider that your biggest asset? And is there any specific part of your game you believe needs the most improvement?

  • My deep threat ability is definitely one of my best assets, but I truly believe I am at my best as a leader for the team.
  • Because of my injury last year, the main thing I want to improve is my conditioning. The better shape my body is in, the easier it will be to stay healthy all season.

What is it like coming back as a starter after missing a year because of a devastating injury?

  • For me, it’s all about mindset. It’s a constant mind game you play with yourself and you start to look at things you’re doing differently. You look at things differently and have to be extra careful that another injury won’t happen.

Who or what is your biggest influence when it comes to football? Do you have a favorite player in college or the NFL that you model your playstyle after?

  • My biggest influence is my cousin (Xavier Woods). Seeing him play in the NFL is extremely inspirational as a kid still in high school.
  • My favorite player would have to be Antonio Brown. I love how he can go one-on-one with anyone and always seem to come up with the ball. I try to be a deep threat like him and love watching Antonio play.

What do you believe sets you apart from other kids in high school? 

 

  • Probably my ability to play anywhere on the field. Besides my main position at receiver, I play a lot of corner and safety. I also am the long snapper on punt team and the center on PATs. I believe that makes me diverse.

 

So you play all over the field, is there any play or formation that you like the most?

  • I love playing kick return. It really lets you see the lanes open up and, being a playmaker, I’m always looking for the big play.

Alright, one final question. Do you have any rituals before a big game?

  • There’s a lot of stuff everyone will do before a game. Some people eat a certain meal and some people listen to certain songs. For me, I always make sure to lead a prayer with my teammates. I believe God watches over me, and because of my injury, I want my teammates to be watched over, too. That’s another way I try to show leadership, because it’s contagious and other guys will step up and become leaders too by leading by example. There’s no such thing as too many leaders on a team.