Ja’Marion Wayne is headed to Missouri next season to play for the Tigers, but he is ready to do more. By the end of his high school career, Wayne ranked as a four-star prospect with many offers from around the country. However, he chose to attend Missouri because it is close to his hometown allowing his family to watch his games. Once he finally signed, he felt some relief, but will not drop his guard.
“I am going to challenge everybody. Everyone who thinks they are good, we are going to go head to head… I am a competitor… I hope they are looking for something new because they got it” Wayne says. “It is a relief, but the pressure is still on because you have to work just as hard if not harder than before.”
He looks up to and gives thanks to his mom, but also his former teammates before he takes his next steps.
“My biggest role model is my mom. That should be everyone’s role model. She is a strong independent… On the football field… I do not want to say I look up to people because they look up to me, but I look up to people on my team… They do not give up. I do not care about anything you do, as long as you do not give up.”
If it comes down to it, Wayne is willing to play on either side of the ball in college, except linebacker.
“I can do anything, besides linebacker. I can not do that. Once you have a certain mindset towards a certain thing, you can do anything. Mentally it is 90 percent, physically it is 10… I am willing to go on the line, even though I might get pancaked.”
A Star From the Star
Wayne started football at seven years old, but not in a traditional manner. He and his friends made up a game similar to a part of conventional football. One person would line up in the end zone and the rest of the group would start between the 30 and 50-yard line. One of the people standing near the 50 would throw the ball and the person in the end zone would try to score without being touched (much like a kick return). Wayne was always fast and successful in the game. When the opportunity came, he signed up to play football more formally. He started as a wide receiver and running back because of his speed, but his 6’3’’ frame pushed him to focus on being a receiver.
“I like going over people and driving the ball. It makes you feel big… like dunking in basketball.”
Wayne scored many touchdowns in all his high school career, but he reminisces other moments more.
“In my sophomore year… I played four games with fractured ribs. I did not know my ribs were fractured until I went to the hospital… You could tell my left side was slimmer than the right… They made a comfy thing for my side and I was just playing… That was my proudest moment.”
Wayne’s Pet Snake
In his freshman year of high school, Wayne received a snake as a birthday gift. He treats it as if it is his child since he raised it, but also takes qualities from it on the football field.
“When I drop a rat in my snake’s cage, he does not play with the rat. He does not play with his food. When I am on the field, whoever I am against is my food. I do not play with my food… Some people think it is just a snake, but it is more for me.”
Inspired by others and himself, the high school superstar is ready to bring change and push his teammates once he arrives in Columbia, Missouri later this year.
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Main Image Credit: From the stltoday.com