DITR – Vallen Charles

Vallen “Ryland” Charles is a 6’1″, 245 pound, class of 2025 offensive and defensive tackle for the Acadiana High School Rams football team in Lafayette, Louisiana. Vallen was a starter at offensive tackle last season, something he is very prideful in and says being named a starter as a Sophomore is the biggest accomplishment so far in his football career. He enjoys playing defense as well and told me he models his game after Aaron Donald, and just tries to bully opponents using his size and just straight force.

I had the opportunity to ask Vallen some more questions:

Why and at what age did you start playing football?

” I started playing football as a kid because my mom encouraged me to, and then from that season, I fell in love with the game and never stopped since.”

Have you always played your current position, or did you play a different position growing up?

“As a kid, I always played the line on both sides, and now in my highschool football journey, I played on the offense side my whole freshman year and most of my sophomore year until I switched sides at the beginning of the playoffs.”

What sets you apart from everyone else on the field?

“I’m hardworking, I never slack off, and I never give up no matter what the odds are.”

What is your favorite memory playing football so far?

“My favorite memory would be when we played Carencro the first time, and against all odds, we proved them all wrong and got the win.”

How do you balance athletics and academics?

“Academics is a main role in being a great football player; without academics, you can’t go anywhere, and how you do in a classroom shows coaches how you will act out of the classroom and if you are coachable/ teachable, so I make sure to stay on top of all of my work and assignments before anything else.”

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced on the field?

“I would say that that is when we practice plays for a defense that we think they’re going to be in, and they turn out to be in a whole different defense; it’s a challenge to adjust to it, but we get it done.”

How do you stay physically fit outside of football?

“I listen to my coaches ,diet plans, watch my carbs, drink protein, etc.”

What are you hoping to achieve in this upcoming season?

“First team all district, and get my first offer.”

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned playing football?

“To always work hard and never give up.”

How do you prepare for big games?

“I usually go find me a comfortable and quiet spot to chill until it’s time to get dressed and ready.”

Lastly, who is the biggest role model in your life?

“My biggest role model would have to be my mom. My mom does everything for me and my siblings, from getting me to school in the morning, to bringing me to all my practices, to putting food on the table for us. She makes sure I’m able to play all these sports and she makes sure to be at every game supporting me, and I can’t thank her enough for all she does for me and my siblings.”

Photos courtesy of Vallen Charles