St. Charles Herald-Guide

St. Charles Herald-Guide's High School Players of the Week

Staff Report - October 4, 2007

Nelsonís versatility leads Destrehan to 5-0 mark

Last week, it seemed like Destrehan's Jerico Nelson was playing every position on the football field. Not only did the senior rush for 56 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his team's 30-14 win over John Ehret, but he also threw for a 72-yard touchdown that helped ice the victory.

In fact, it is that versatility which has drawn the attention of almost every college scout in the country and has garnered Nelson praise by, who ranked him the 25th best athlete in the United States.

That can be a pretty big load for any person to carry, let alone a high school kid.

"Sometimes, the pressure gets in the way, but once you get on the field and see all your teammates working hard and see everyone working towards the same goal, you start thinking that you can't be beat," Nelson said.

That "can't be beat" attitude first started to develop for Nelson when he strapped on the pads for the first time as a four-year-old.

The comraderie he developed with his teammates was something that kept him interested in the sport after all these years.

"When I was younger, all my friends were out there playing, so that's mostly how I got to see them," Nelson said. "When I started playing for school, it got a lot more serious."

During his first year of high school ball, Nelson started for John Curtis, who won a state title that season.

After Hurricane Katrina, Nelson was forced to transfer to another school, and it was Destrehan that eventually won his services.

"At first, the transition was difficult because the Curtis coaches were still trying to get me to go back," Nelson said. "I told the coaches here I would stay and I've been here ever since."

Over the last three years, Nelson has excelled on both sides of the ball, tearing through defenders as a running back and drilling running backs as a safety. To Nelson, it's the best of both worlds.

"When I'm at running back, I know what to look for on defense," Nelson said. "When I'm at safety, I like the contact side of the sport where you can deliver the hits."

Right now, he is getting to do both for an undefeated Wildcat team that has its eyes on a state championship.

"Mainly, my goal this season was to be a team leader and to win state," Nelson said.

"I think we have done excellent this season. The offensive line has been working very hard and the wide receivers are working on their blocking schemes. Overall, we are like a total package."

- Jonathan Menard, Editor

Young delivers in Hahnville victory

Most Hahnville High School students have heard the name B.J. Young.

At almost every game, when the Tigers are on offense, the fans are screaming "Go B.J." or "Run it Young."

They are talking about Brian Joseph Young, a 17-year old senior at HHS who just last week finished 7-for-7 with five touchdowns and 140 yards.

However, that's not Young's most memorable moment. Instead, it was a play that had actually broken down.

"It was a broken screen play, and I had to scramble out of the endzone," Young said.

"I ended up making a 25-yard pass to Laron Byrd."

Though he is now under center, Young played wide receiver his sophomore year.

Though he didn't mind the position, he couldn't wait for the chance to be the Tigers quarterback.

"I just love throwing touchdown passes," Young said. "What can I say."

Young has been playing football since he was seven and has played for Mimosa, Norco, and Luling, all of which were coached by his biggest influence, his dad.

Young continued his career in middle school, where he played for J.B. Martin, and survived being cut during his seventh grade season.

"I just love sports," Young said. "Almost more than I can explain."

Young's favorite teams are the New Orleans Saints, the New England Patriots, and the Indianapolis Colts, and he hopes to one day get to that level after playing college ball.

However, if that doesn't pan out, Young would love to be a sports commentator.

- Nika Kliebert, Intern