Carmel Greyhound graduate Jalen Duncan found himself among some of the top IHSAA football players from the 2011 season Wednesday afternoon at the University of Indianapolis. As the practice for the 2012 Grange Insurance/IFCA All-Star Classic took place, Duncan practiced hard among his South teammates, listened to instructions from Scecina Memorial Head Coach Ott Hurrle, and ran some plays that will be used in the exhibition against the North on Friday night at North Central High School.
Duncan went about his practice the Carmel way, preparing to the fullest to compete in one more contest as a high school football player, while staying humble among the way. Which let's face it has to be hard, considering the Duncan and the Greyhounds are coming off a 14-1 season that saw Carmel win the IHSAA Class 5A State championship 54-0 over Penn.
"It's a lot to represent," said Duncan with a smile. "But you have to try to stay humble about it, but a lot of these kids come out and compete. You try not to repeat stuff, but hey, it is nice to be the champ."
The former Greyhound finished with 1,823 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior, ultimately earning his spot among the South All-Star squad as the lone Greyhound after Kentucky-bound Langston Newton withdrew. Duncan talked about how much he cherishes the 2011 season and his time with his Carmel teammates, but there is now one task at hand that he is focused on.
That of course is to defeat the visiting North All-Stars.
"It would be a two-peat and that's what we're going to try and do," said Duncan referring to the South's 13-7 victory last July. "We want to just get a victory and keep that record going."
The future after Duncan's last game under the Friday night lights holds very bright. Duncan is attending Western Illinois to play tailback, where he will likely red-shirt his freshman year and come out ready to play during the 2013 season. The Fighting Leathernecks staff is hoping that Duncan can hit the weight room to potentially put on ten-plus pounds of muscle so his body can adapt to the college game. Duncan is ready to put in the work, but jokingly expressed how he's not perhaps as pumped with the pain that comes with it.
"I'm not very excited," said Duncan with a boisterous laugh. "I like the weight that I am at right now, but I just want to do anything I can to help the program. If that means put on ten pounds, I'll definitely do that."
Of course when the 2012 high school season kicks off in a little over a month, it will open up the door for new seniors to earn their spot to represent the North or South in 2013's contest. For those players, Duncan has a message they should advise too.
"For the kids coming up in the future, it is a big honor," said Duncan. "You don't want to blow it. You want to be able to represent your school, because not everybody gets to be out there with the All-Stars. So take advantage of it, and enjoy every minute of it."
Carmel's Duncan ready to battle North in All-Star game
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