Lovelace set on playing quarterback

Tenafly, N.J. star will take three official visits and then make decision

Jabulani Lovelace hopes his performance on the football field this season is convincing college coaches. Like many athletic prep quarterbacks, Lovelace is looked at as a player with multiple positions in his future. With Lovelace, though, it is not merely a projection of his athletic skills. In addition to being one of the top offensive players in New Jersey, The Bergen Record named him preseason all-state at free safety.

Lovelace is a three-year starter at both quarterback and safety and has thrived at each. His passion, however, is undoubtedly to play quarterback at the next level.

His three finalists—Wisconsin, Syracuse and Vanderbilt—are all ready to give him that opportunity, he said.

"Mainly they want a mobile quarterback, which I am," Lovelace said, adding that he can beat people with his legs, certainly, but that he also has a knack for stretching a defense with his arm.

Wisconsin currently has a sophomore (starter John Stocco), a redshirt freshman (Tyler Donovan) and two true freshmen (Bryan Savage and Sean Lewis) quarterbacks on scholarship. A third true freshman scholarship athlete, Marcus Randle El, is playing wide receiver currently but still hopes to move back to quarterback, his prep position. The Badgers also have walk-on quarterback Craig Meier on the roster and have secured a verbal commitment from quarterback prospect Dustin Sherer.

Lovelace is aware of that situation but is not deterred by it in the least.

"The guy that's recruiting me, [Wisconsin offensive coordinator Brian White], he says quarterback but I don't know how the rest of their staff feels," Lovelace said. "But after this season, and the numbers I'm putting up, I hope they all see me as a quarterback."

Lovelace estimated that if you combine his rushing and passing statistics he has 12 touchdowns and about 1,100 yards. According to The Bergen Record, which recently dubbed Lovelace its player of the week, he ran for 204 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-6 win over Rutherford last week. In a 33-7 win over Ridgefield Park the previous week Lovelace ran for 139 yards and two scores and threw for 111 and two scores. As a free safety he had five tackles and two interceptions in that contest.

Lovelace has 15 scholarship offers but has narrowed his recruiting list to the Badgers, Orangemen and Commodores. Of the three, the only school he has not seen is Wisconsin. His first trip will be an official visit.

"I'm planning on getting out there sometime after my season or when I get a break from the season," he said. "Probably after the season."

Lovelace is also planning official visits for Syracuse and Vanderbilt. He said he will probably take all three officials in December.

"I think I just want to wait until after the season so like I can have that drive to work harder each game, knowing I have something prove," he said.

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