Rodrick Pleasant next in line of Serra’s two-sport stars
Adoree’ Jackson. Robert Woods. Marqise Lee. George Farmer. Jordan Lasley. The list of outstanding Gardena Serra football players who used track to show off their speed and athleticism is eye-popping.
Get ready to add Rodrick Pleasant to the list. During a four-day stretch last spring after running the 100 meters in 10.57 seconds, Pleasant said he received 14 scholarship offers from college football recruiters.
When he set Southern Section Division 4 records in the 100 and 200 by running 10.46 and 21.02 in June as a sophomore, his reputation was sealed as an athlete to watch. By the final weekend of June, he ran the 100 in 10.32 and the 200 in 20.59. It capped a meteoric rise to prominence.
Pleasant was already a first-team All-Mission League selection for Serra during its six-game spring football season playing cornerback. He’s 5 feet 11, 175 pounds and has a burst of speed that you just can’t teach.
Coach Scott Altenberg is planning to take advantage of Pleasant’s speed by using him more at receiver this season, but he has already shown he can be a big-play weapon on defense. Against Long Beach Poly, he returned an interception for a touchdown. Against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, he ran down a running back headed for a touchdown and stripped the ball.
Pleasant said one college recruiter told him, “You’re at the 10-yard line and you think of punching the ball out? Not a lot kids think of that.”
Last week during a scrimmage against Loyola, he caused havoc at receiver. “He’s fast,” Loyola coach Drew Casani said.
Since he was 5 and his mother told him to “stop sitting around and go out and play,” Pleasant has been playing football and running track.
“She threw me out there because of my older brothers,” he said. “Why are you sitting there?”
He was a Junior Olympic track champion in the 13-14 age group. His older brother is Dominic Davis, who starred at Bishop Alemany in football and track before he attended USC.
Attending Serra was a natural progression because he had heard how the school encourages its athletes to be multisport contributors.
He said Jackson, who is with the New York Giants, has become a mentor for him by talking on the phone and offering advice.
It was in the spring of his freshman year that a group of graduates returned to Serra to run in a 400 relay against current Serra athletes. Jackson, Lasley, Davis and CJ Pollard went against the young guns that included Pleasant. Let’s just say the old guys forgot how to hand off the baton.
Pleasant said his brother tried to offer excuses for losing. Jackson vowed to “bring a new fourth leg” for the rematch.
They better come back faster, because Pleasant certainly has gotten faster, stronger and better. His acceleration this fall is going to cause problems for players and coaches. He enjoys everything about football.
“I love being able to hit,” he said. “I love the atmosphere, working with the team and being able to help everybody succeed. If I do my job, it makes everything easier for everyone else.”
Altenberg said Pleasant has the chance to become the latest of Serra’s great two-sport athletes.
“It’s just the way it is,” Altenberg said of his school. “We want them to be multisport athletes.”
Said Pleasant: “They encourage you to do both. It’s big in the Serra pipeline.”
Now the question is who wins at 100 meters when it’s Pleasant against his brother, Dominic?
“I do,” Pleasant said.
DEFENSIVE BACKS TO WATCH
Daylen Austin, Long Beach Poly, 6-2, 180, Jr. Follows in long tradition of top Poly DBs.
Tayvion Beasley, St. John Bosco, 5-9, 160, Sr. Solid, dependable cornerback.
Takhari Carr, Dominguez, 6-0, 180, Sr. Also a standout basketball player.
Joshua Hunter, Mater Dei, 5-10, 175, Jr. Defensive MVP in Trinity League last spring.
Domani Jackson, Mater Dei, 6-1, 180, Sr. USC commit is man among boys.
Jaden Mickey, Corona Centennial, 5-11, 155, Sr. Notre Dame commit doesn’t give an inch.
Rodrick Pleasant, Gardena Serra, 5-11, 180, Jr. Combines blazing speed with good instincts.
Ephesians Prysock, Bishop Alemany, 6-3, 170, Sr. Versatile two-way standout.
Kamari Ramsey, Sierra Canyon, 6-1, 195, Sr. Stanford commit is safety who makes big tackles.
Zamondre Merriweather, Valencia, 6-2, 200, Sr. Boise State commit makes big impact.
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