Overview: St. Charles High School posted a large senior and junior class the last time they were on the field. Even though most have gone on because of either graduation or the season cancellation due to the pandemic, this article will highlight two young athletes who were able to compete and contribute at a high-level for their varsity squad. These athletes show physical attributes and the flashes of technique needed to take their talents to the next level!
MLB: Justin PalmerJustinPalmer6'0" | LBSt. Charles | 2022MD
, 6’0", 205, St. Charles High School, 2022, JR
My favorite attributes about Justin are his speed and physicality. He fits the mold of a sideline-to-sideline middle linebacker, who is almost always at the center of a great defense. His speed allows him to run down backs or receivers attempting to get on the edge of the defense, negating explosive plays on the sideline. He uses his physicality between the tackles to take on opposing offensive lineman, shocking them with a violent strike and shedding them to make the tackle. As a Blitzer, he's demonstrated the ability to either knock opposing offensive lineman into the backfield or find a hole in the line to slip through, often forcing the running back to stop his moment and redirect if he doesn't get the TFL himself. In coverage, Justin does a great job of dropping into coverage and taking away the middle of the field, even coming away with interceptions when Quarterbacks think they can get the ball behind him. He's able to use his speed to quickly break on passes thrown short, effectively taking away the receiver's ability to generate yards after the catch. In addition to his physical attributes, his 107 tackles also show the effort and determination to get to the ball that all linebackers need to succeed. Justin has demonstrated many qualities of a great linebacker. I believe he is in the position to have a great season when the SMAC conference returns to play and will separate himself as a high-level college prospect.
DT: Drevon Howard, 5'9", 255, St. Charles High School, 2023, SO
Drevon is a very high-energy Defensive tackle who was able to make an impressive impact as a freshman on the varsity squad. Drevon does an excellent job of consistently attacking half a man in both the run and pass game. In the run game, by attacking the opposing offensive lineman's shoulder, he's able to force his way into the backfield or make them miss the block with a quick swim, disrupting the timing of the play or ending it with a TFL. He has also demonstrated the ability to use hand fighting techniques to disengage from offensive lineman that have locked on to him and redirect towards the football, denying the running back from getting into the second level. Even though Drevon is effective against the run, the passing game is where he truly shines. He's able to use the same strategy of attacking half a man to beat the blocker with a twitchy rip or swim move, resulting in a sack or him forcing the quarterback off his spot. He's also demonstrated the ability to relentlessly fight through double teams that defensive tackles often see, allowing him to pile up quarterback hits. As a freshman, Drevon demonstrated some high-level defensive tackle techniques and impressive physical attributes that project him as a true 3-down defensive tackle. As he grows and develops, I believe he will separate himself as a premier defensive tackle in the conference and a high-level prospect.