After rushing for 1,596 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior at Pittsboro (NC) Northwood, athlete Tobais Palmer was disappointed when he learned that he would need to spend a couple of years in junior college before being eligible to play for NC State.
Now at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Georgia, Palmer has emerged as a playmaker at receiver for the Bulldogs.
At 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, Palmer caught four passes for roughly 70 yards and a touchdown this past Saturday in a game against Louisburg. He showed extremely reliable hands, catching every pass thrown his way, but his ability to make a play with the ball in his hands was equally impressive. On one play in particular, Palmer caught an out, made the first guy miss and then lowered his shoulder and flattened the next defender. The surprising aspect of Palmer’s game is his strength given his 165-pound frame. He isn’t afraid to play physical and showed a toughness that was quite surprising.
After the game, Palmer talked with Pack Pride about the move to junior college. Like for most college-bound teenagers heading away from home for the first time, it’s been a tough transition. However, Palmer said he knows he’ll have to tough it out to make it to the next level.
“It’s been hard,” he said. “I’ve been kind of homesick but I’ve got to tough it out. What helps me get through it is just thinking that I’m getting closer and closer to going to State every day. I’ve just got to do what I’m supposed to in the classroom and on the field.
“But today it felt good being back in North Carolina and playing in front of people I’m used to being around and support me a lot. So it felt good to be back home again. I got me a touchdown too so that made it good.”
Another adjustment Palmer has had to make has been the upgrade in speed and talent at junior college versus high school. However, the freshman said he feels like he’s adapted well during the early part of the season.
“Everyone here is bigger and faster and it’s a faster pace of game. Everyone here is just stronger and faster but I think I’ve adjusted well. I’ve been mostly playing receiver, but I also play a little running back and on special teams.”
Although NC State has struggled at times in 2008, Palmer said he watches the Pack play every week. He said he firmly believes that he can come in and make solid contributions for the 2010 season.
“As far as looking at them play every weekend, they need help and hopefully whenever I get done at Georgia Military I can be a big part of helping them,” said Palmer. “The coaches there are what really impress me. They’re straight up. They don’t try to hide anything and they’re real honest people.”
Palmer should graduate from Georgia Military next December and will be available for the 2010 season. He will have three years to play two seasons.
Used primarily as a tailback at Pittsboro (NC) Northwood, Palmer likely projects as a wide receiver for the Wolfpack. He finished off his senior year with a Shrine Bowl selection, all-conference honors and Chatham County male athlete of the year. He also posted a 10.58 in the 100-meter dash to win the state 2A title.
Palmer was rated a three-star prospect and the No. 41 cornerback in the 2008 class by Scout.com.
Scouting Report: "Speed is the name of the game for Palmer, who could eventually play running back, slot receiver, and probably his best projected position of cornerback. Excellent burst into the secondary on plays to the outside, huge top-end speed, and overall solid acceleration through his cuts. In limited time as a cornerback, shows excellent hips and ball awareness. Willing to come up and make a tackle, but not enough time on the field to make a full evaluation." – Scout.com recruiting analyst Miller Safrit
Jr. Film: TB #6 Tobais Palmer -- Video 1 --
Jr. Film: TB/CB #6 Tobais Palmer -- Video 2 --
TB #6 Tobais Palmer -- Soph. Film vs. Cummings --
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