Thursday, May 6, 2010

Q & A with RB/DB Jamal Abdur-Rahman: LaSalle College High School

The last Philly high school football game of last season was the Eagles of George Washington High School facing off against the Explorers of LaSalle College High School for bragging rights to be called Philadelphia City Champions. The two schools were the top-dogs in their respective leagues, so when I went to this game I knew I would see some real ballers on the field.

As expected Washington defensive tackle and future Florida Gator, Sharrif Floyd, caused some havoc in LaSalle’s backfield. He had his way here and there, but for the most part the LaSalle offensive line did a pretty good job. Usually they put an extra body in Floyd’s way to slow him down (i.e. extra linemen, runningback, once even a house…haha,jk).

This meeting boasted a ton of players from the Philly area that caught my eye, but one in particular. This pesky RB and DB from LaSalle #11, his name is Jamal Abdur-Rahman. I saw him make plays that made me think..."he's got it." So, if few people around the city knew about this baller before the 2009 season, they all know now. Getting offers from Maryland and strong interest from Oregon and Purdue, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Jamal and provide you all with this Philly Football Movement exclusive interview:

Me: So when and where did football begin for you?
Jamal: I started when I was 10 years old…Oak Lane Wildcats. I played O-line and D-line actually offensive and defensive tackle. They [the coaches] had a rule that you couldn’t run the ball until you blocked. Plus they had people that were faster than me at the time like Eric Turner.
Me: I know Eric Turner! He played Wide-out for West Catholic in 2009 and he’s playing at Norfolk State now. I coached him in the All-star game and he is a blazer!
Jamal: Yeah he was the running back. We had a good squad that year. But my 2nd year was probably my best year though. Well next to my Junior year at LaSalle. We were undefeated until the championship. I had 22 touchdowns over 1100 yards rushing and 22tackles a game!
Me: Haha, wow! How do you know this?
Jamal: My coach told me (smiling)
Me: What other things did you like or were you involved in when you were younger?
Jamal: Football, baseball, track, and basketball.
Me: What happened to the other sports?
Jamal: I wanted to stick to football, but I liked track. I went to nationals with my team.
Me: So when it comes to football what is it that motivates you to go hard on the field and in the weight room?
Jamal: I want to make it to the NFL. Make money, hopefully make life easier. I want financial freedom.
Me: Haha, I hear you, me too. But what do you mean by financial freedom.
Jamal: Like when my dad says, “you can’t get cargo shorts!”…I want them! I’m motivated by that, to not be a regular guy.
Me: True, good point! That was my motivation too. I didn’t want to be like anyone else, strive to be the best.
Me: With that said, what are your goals in football when you get to college? And what position do you want to play?
Jamal: Hopefully, I go to a BCS school. I want to win a National Championship. Runningback is my natural position.

Me: That definitely would be amazing! So before a game what do you have blasting in your iPod?
Jamal: Actually we listen to 90’s rap as a team. That’s what we have playing in the locker room. But really I like to relax. I bust it up with my teammates to get my mind off of the game because once it starts I take care of business.
Me: I’ve always been a, music before games guy, but it’s weird I’ve played with some exceptionally talented guys and they all like to crack jokes and all before games. But when it’s game time they ball-out!
Me: So besides football what do you like to do in your spare time?
Jamal: I like bowling or watching movies.
Me: Bowling!?!? (laughing) How good are you? Do you have a future in the PBA (Pro Bowling Association)?
Jamal: (laughing) No. I probably bowl like 170 something…better than average. I just wouldn’t be able to be a professional bowler because I wouldn’t be dedicated to it. That’s why I’d stick to football.
Me: 170 is pretty good.
Me: Last questions…doors are opening up for you now…What would be your advice to prospects in the area?
Jamal: Don’t just look at D-1, it’s 1-AA, also. If you want to go to the NFL they will find you. It’s more about the free education.
Me: Ok, so now since you are at the point where you are getting a first-hand taste of the importance of preparing physically and the whole college recruiting process…what do you think about The Philly Football Movement?
Jamal: It will help a lot of people. Because they[players and parents] just don’t know…They go to these schools and need to know more than just football [preparation and the process], especially the parents. The fact that you will be helping kids and parents starting out a 6th grade it’s really good.

Thank you Jamal Abdur-Rahman. Good luck this upcoming season and look forward to you making it big time and representing for the Philly area and contributing to The Philly Football Movement!!!

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