One of the most intriguing prospects in the class of 2017 is St. Mary Catholic Central starting Linebacker Justin LaPlante.
LaPlante, a 6’2 210-pound Junior, who finished the 2015 season with some ridiculous statistics 109 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception for a touchdown, 1 receiving touchdown, 5 recovered fumbles and 4 forced fumbles.
St. Mary Catholic Central ended the season with an 8-2 overall record, losing in the Division 6 District playoff game to Clinton High School 14-10. “As disappointing as that may be to lose in the first round of the playoffs, it is our goal to prove people wrong. We have a young team this season without a whole lot of experience, but we all have heart” said LaPlante.
I asked LaPlante what were his strengths on the field. “I’m a sideline to sideline type of player, I can read the field at a high level which helps me understand and break down offensive schemes. I am not afraid to throw my entire body into a tackle” said LaPlante.
As you all are starting to see who Justin LaPlante is as an athlete, there is another side to him. I asked LaPlante, what motivates you to give 100% effort in football or in life? “I come from a family of 7 kids. My brother and sisters want nothing more from me than to succeed. They are my inspiration to keep battling through any obstacles that might get in my way. They have been extremely supportive in what I’m trying to accomplish both on and off the field” said LaPlante. I went on and asked LaPlante who his biggest role models were and why and he said “I have two role models in my life, my brothers Mike and Jake. My brothers take so much time out of their everyday life and dedicate it to me. Mike is the one who works out with me and pushes me to my physical limits and Jake takes the time to constantly motivate me whether it be watching motivational videos or talking to me about what my future possibly holds. I look up to them as individuals and I appreciate everything they do for me” said LaPlante.
LaPlante is looking to capitalize on a stellar season he had as a junior and is looking ahead to his Senior year. But all that starts in what he does in the offseason. LaPlante will be attending the Adidas Showcase in Chicago in late March. He also plans on attending Bowling Green and Central Michigan’s day camps over the summer.
Now with every high school athlete there is always a professional athlete that students admire. So I asked LaPlante, what NFL player he models his game after? “I model my play after former NFL stars Ray Lewis and Brian Dawkins. They had such an immense passion for the game. In their pregame, you could see how much energy they put into motivating their teammates. They were the heart of their teams and I want to have that similar effect on my squad” said LaPlante.
With the 2016 season near LaPlante is focused and has his goals set. Even though currently he does not have an offer, LaPlante is hungry and eager to turn heads this season. With his strong family background and his overall skill set, it won’t be long until you start hearing more about Justin LaPlante.
Markel Metoyer, Journalist