For fear of suffering an injury in the middle of football season, Riverside's Charvon "Von" Julien opted not to participate in the combine testing and scrimmages. However that did not mean that the two-sport athlete was going to miss out on the event all together.
Watching the scrimmages from the sidelines impressed Julien, but it was not enough to deter his belief that he is still one of the best talents that the state has to offer.
"I think I'm one of the best," said Julien, a wide receiver on the Riverside football team. "You always have to think positive, but there is a lot of great talent out here that is competing."
Julien has a right to be confident in his abilities.
He experienced a break-out sophomore season last year that saw him pick up most valuable player honors in January's Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic. That feat was followed up with Julien leading the Rebels to a 2A state championship with a 60-49 win over St. Thomas Aquinas.
But even with the accolades, Julien is still itching to get on the court and prove his dominance all over again.
"It definitely motivates me," he said of not being able to participate in the combine, "to see all of these coaches and scouts watching these players from all over the state to try and get offers. You can tell that everybody is trying to show what they can do."
Julien's superb play helped him draw a scholarship offer from Oklahoma State as well as interest from Baylor, Oklahoma, Arizona and LSU.
With the Tigers head coach Johnny Jones at the combine as well, Julien made sure that he touched base.
"He told me to just keep doing what I'm doing," Julien said of his talks with Jones. "He told me that they are keeping a close eye on me."
Julien is hoping that Jones will extend an offer to him soon, but if and when that day comes, he is not quite sure where he wants to wind up at the next level. According to Julien, the depth chart and his comfort level with the school will play huge factors into his decision.
"I really want to go to a school that would give me a lot of playing time," Julien explained. "I want to find a place where the surroundings are really comfortable for me."
As the time for his decision nears, Julien is concentrating on the football season and his preparations for the upcoming basketball season. With a state title already under hit belt, the natural next step is to lead Riverside to another one and go undefeated in the process.
"I want to win another state championship, but I also want to try and not lose any games," he said. "We're going to play in some bigger tournaments this year, and we are just ready to compete and try to remain number one in the state."
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