It is unbelievable to say that a wide receiver that had a record breaking season with 73 catches for 1,601 yards and 23 touchdowns is considered a diamond in the rough, but that is certainly the case for Barbe High School star wide receiver Jamaal Levi.
As a junior, Jamaal broke former LSU and SMU receiver Trey Quinn’s single season program record for most receiving yards in a season. When Jamaal set the record, he was approached by the former star Barbe receiver on breaking his single season record that a lot of Barbe fans thought would never be reached.
“I was in shock. I scored the touchdown and came back to the sidelines. I sat down to get water and Trey Quinn is behind me. He told me congrats and that I earned it. That meant the world to me.”
Last season, Jamaal took the state by storm not only beating program records, but also leading the state in receiving and also making District Offensive MVP, All-SWLA, and 1st Team All-State. With a season like that, it is hard to absolutely top it, but for Jamaal, that is what he wants to do in 2022.
“My goals for this season is to have close to 100 catches and 30 touchdowns and to also break my own record in receiving yards.”
During this process, the big play wide receiver received a couple of offers along the way with teams like Northwestern State, Grambling State, Louisiana Christian, Southeastern, and McNeese State pulling the trigger on him. Despite the number of offers, Jamaal feels that he is still getting overlooked in a deep state of talented wide receivers even though he led the state in receiving.
“I am not getting as much recruiting as I thought I would be knowing I am the best wide receiver in the state and my stats prove that I am. I should be ranked in the Class of 23. I am very underrated and no one barely knows about me so that’s why I go to camps and prove that I am the best.”
Although Jamaal is only 5’9, 160 pounds, he makes up for it with his incredible speed and shiftiness as a wide receiver, especially in the slot.
“My biggest strength to my game playing wide receiver is me as a slot receiver. I go against strong safeties, and they can’t keep up with me so I feel like my speed really helps me playing wide receiver.”
This year, Jamaal hopes that drawing that attention of extra defensive backs will open up opportunities for his teammates.
“What I am trying to improve this season is to help my teammates get the ball too because if they get the ball, it’s gonna be hard stopping them.”
It is definitely hard to contain Jamaal on the field and despite not being the biggest guy out there, he is used to playing with the big boys ever since he was a little kid.
“I started playing football when I was three. I always played with the older kids to make me better. I was always the youngest kid on the field.”
That mentality has helped him even more today as he loves the challenge of going up against defensive backs and being versatile in his route tree.
“My favorite route is probably a go ball or a post corner because I can easily stack the defensive back up and I’ll have them burned with the go ball or I can stack them give them that post like for a second and then put that other foot in the ground and make the defensive back look silly.”
Although Jamaal is grateful for all the offers that he has received, he is still looking to get offers from some of the schools that he has dreamed of going to like USC, LSU, Oklahoma State, and Texas. Still, in the end, it all comes down to the school that wants him the most.
“When I make the decision to whatever college I go to, I want it to feel like home and feel loved and wanted as an athlete.”
As a natural athlete, Jamaal also excels in track at the 100 and 200 meters. He even admits that he was actually better in baseball than football, but decided to give baseball up to focus on football. With also a 33 inch vertical jump and 4.4/40 speed, there is not a lot that he can’t do athletically. Not only is Jamaal a standout athlete, but his cousin Reed Boyd is a standout tight end for the team and will be another player to watch this season. For Jamaal, his message to colleges and recruiters is clear.
“My message is size doesn’t matter and if you need a person with a lot of energy and gets pumped up, I’m the guy to call and I can set the tone early and keep it and never feel sorry for myself. I’ve been also saying this a lot and that is you need to get on my cousin Reed Boyd. When I see talent, I know. He’s 6’2, 210 and is pure muscle. Get him as soon as possible because he’s gonna be a steal.”
Family has always been important to Jamaal and no matter where his football career takes him, he will always have the people that he loves support him everywhere he goes along the way.
“The person who motivates me is my dad and my uncle. They always make sure we are good and make sure we are making the right decisions. I love them so much.”
To check out Jamaal Levi’s highlights from his record breaking junior season, click here!
To follow Jamaal on Twitter, click here!