Varsity Preps

B.J. Raymond: The Gifted Playmaker

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Photo by Jim Blaylock

The summer marks camp season for high school football players as thousands of athletes around the country compete to get noticed by college coaches. For Lakeside (GA) athlete B.J. Raymond, his busy summer is gaining him quite a bit of attention.

The rising star has been making his rounds all over the southeastern region and has attended camps at Mercer, Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern and Duke, so far. Raymond already holds offers from Yale, Illinois State, Mercer, Northern Iowa and Appalachian State. That list will get longer as his buzz continues to grow.

With a 5-10, 165-pound frame, Raymond lines up against much bigger opponents and plays with the heart of a lion on both sides of the ball. His athleticism commands respect and he makes defensive backs pay if they don’t bring their A-game. Raymond doesn’t hesitate to leap into the air or sacrifice his body to make a play and has the hands to make plenty of clutch grabs. He’s also a very solid cornerback.

“I’ve always been pretty athletic; I was just blessed with it,” Raymond said. “Guys probably underestimate me because of my size, but after the game is over, they know what’s up. I like to be underrated and underestimated, it challenges me. My mentality is just to make the play.”

That mentality proved to be pretty effective for Raymond during his junior campaign. In 2013, he pulled down 35 catches for 800 yards and eight TDs. He recorded 50 tackles, caught four interceptions and took a fumble 99 yards to the house on defense. Raymond also added a punt return TD to his stat line. That’s a good season. A really good season.

Raymond will have plenty of position options in college. His versatility and 4.4 speed gives coaches a lot to work with. The young speedster is open to lining up anywhere on the field.

“Wherever my coaches want me to play and whatever the team needs, I’ll do it,” Raymond said. “Anywhere I’m put, I’m going to work hard and produce.”

While recruitment is starting to heat up for Raymond, he’s enjoying the process and carefully weighing out his future options. He plans to take plenty of visits before making a solid decision.

“Yale was a big offer for me because of the academics and what they can do for me after football, so I definitely plan on taking an official visit there,” Raymond said. “I like Mercer a lot because all the coaches there really show love, and I appreciate that. I went to Duke’s camp and I really like what they’re doing there and how they’re coming up. I plan on visiting Appalachian State; I love their offense and know they have a beautiful campus. Illinois State was my first offer, so I definitely have to visit them, too.”

After Raymond completes the summer, he has big plans for his last year as a Lakeside Panther. He helped his team to a playoff appearance last year and hopes to go even further this season to cap off his high school career with a bang.

“I want a region championship, a state championship, and hopefully everyone in my senior class will sign somewhere,” Raymond said. “I just want everyone to be successful, reach our full potential as a team and go as far as we can.

“As for myself, I’m hoping to get over 1000 yards, and I want 10 picks.”

The future looks bright for Raymond, who is frequently called “Primetime” by his teammates and coaches. Earning the same nickname as one of the greatest athletes of all time is certainly something that he takes pride in.

“Deion Sanders is one of my favorite athletes; I’m definitely a fan,” Raymond said. “I try to my model my game after his and I love his swag and demeanor on the field. I love when my coaches call me Primetime; that’s a great thing.”

B.J. Raymond’s Junior Highlights http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2007456/highlights/77174398

 

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