GREENACRES – In today’s LRISF High School Football All-Star Game, Tajae Leslie wants to go out with a bang.
The Forest Hill 2017 athlete will be playing for the American team in the Palm Beach County showcase. He also played in the Florida vs. Georgia All-Star Game two weeks ago, helping Team Florida to a 22-14 win over Team Georgia.
“It’s an honor to have been selected for both all-star games,” Leslie said. “I played really hard alongside my teammates this past season at Forest Hill. It’s great to see that I’m getting recognized for my accomplishments.”
In 9 games played, Leslie registered 150 carries for 1,026 yards. As a result of his on-field production, it has been parlayed into interest from colleges such as Jacksonville, Pace, Southern Nazarene, and FIT.
At this time, there are no offers on the table for Leslie. But the dynamic athlete is patiently waiting for his moment to get one in the near future.
“Tajae was the hardest worker on our team,” Forest Hill coach Jimmy Basford said. “Last year he played corner and slot for us. We had a few kids transfer on us but he stayed and switched positions to play quarterback. He carried the team on his back all year. He does anything you ask of him. He’s hungry to prove his doubters wrong.”
Leslie (5-10, 170 pounds) acknowledged the situation that could be holding him back in his recruiting process.
“Right now I have to get my grades up and re-take my ACT,” said Leslie, who is closing in on a 3.0 GPA right now. “Hopefully it will all balance itself out.”
Despite his challenges, Leslie is thankful for even gaining some kind of notoriety. He credits his head coach Jude Blessington and Basford for helping him reach this point.
“We ran the triple option, so we ran the ball a lot,” Leslie said. “For me to rush for 1,000+ yards, that’s a big deal. It was because of Coach Blessington and Coach Basford putting me in position to succeed. Their play-calling made the difference.”
More college interest will come soon, at the very least. But right now, Leslie wants to help his American team get a win today over National at John I. Leonard High School.
The kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
“For us to come out of this game with a win, we have to play every down like it’s our last,” Leslie said. “It’s the final high school football game of our careers, so we just have to leave it all out there on the field.”
NOTES: Tickets for today’s LRISF All-Star Game is $10 at the gate. The American head coach is Chris Kokell (Olympic Heights; former Forest Hill HC) and the National head coach is Bobby May (Suncoast).