Super 16: Thunder's Palmer an Unstoppable Threat as 1 of County's Top Receivers
Fri. August 17, 2012 at 10:22 p.m. | By Solange Reyner
Lake Region's Andre Palmer has all the tools to be a top receiver. (Photo by MICHAEL WILSON | THE LEDGER )
By SOLANGE REYNER
EAGLE LAKE | Andre Palmer, a senior at Lake Region, will likely be double- and triple-teamed this season because he's the cat's meow when it comes to receivers in Polk County.
Lake Wales bracketed him in its spring game, and Palmer still caught four passes for 93 yards.
Last season, he finished with 882 yards on 37 catches, averaging 23 yards per catch.
His skill lies in his balance and hand-eye coordination.
"Even on bad throws, he gets into a position to catch the ball," Lake Region coach Steve Reynolds said. "He's just a gifted athlete. When he came in and played on the JV team, he was obviously playing above his level. We had some pretty good receivers on varsity at the time that he couldn't compete with as a freshman, but he had the same abilities, just not the size."
He's obviously bigger now — Palmer stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 170 pounds — and his skills have drastically improved.
He can jump 38 inches on his vertical and has breakaway speed, too, something he'd like to use more to his advantage this season, particularly on big plays.
"My favorite route is the go-route because we have a quarterback with a tremendous arm who can get it there, and with my speed, there's no one who can cover that route," Palmer said.
He's gotten noticed for his playmaking ability and holds an offer from Coastal Carolina University. Palmer, a PolkPreps.com Super 16 selection, is also receiving interest from South Florida and Miami, Reynolds said.
The attention is nice, but Reynolds said his star receiver still has to learn how to communicate better, especially with his quarterback. He'll need to if he wants to stand out again this season and give Lake Region a chance to compete.
"Sometimes he improvises and he's not on the same page as the quarterback, but him and LT [Thompson] are really starting to click. I think we'll definitely see more special things out of him if he can maintain that focus throughout the whole season."