Southwood has a late bloomer in Markray

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

Every year, you see certain kids hit their potential and show their full ability in their senior year, when it all kicks in – and I believe a prime example is wide receiver Javien Markray from Southwood High School.

He has a chance to become a late bloomer who has the IT factor to earn attention from Division I FBS and FCS colleges all over Louisiana and elsewhere.

Markray has something you need to be recruited. He has great speed — timed at 4.59 in the 40, he looks 4.4 on the field because he’s quick in space. He has the stuff, the IT factor, to rise to a DI recruit by the end of his senior season for Southwood.

I also like that he’s a big-time starter for Southwood in basketball, which shows he has a great vertical and hands, assets which he carries over to football. Southwood is one of several local schools with a strong basketball program and he’s one of the Cowboys’ top hands.

I am excited to see how good Markray becomes this fall in just his second year to start on the varsity level.

I am telling you right now, remember the name because his game will have a lot of people talking come November before early signing day.

Markray has had a great spring and summer leading up to the upcoming season.

Markray likes how football challenges him: “I can focus on myself and get better and also bond with some people I haven’t worked with.”

“Markray is an awesome leader for this team,” said head coach Jesse Esters. “He’s had an outstanding 7-on-7 circuit this summer. He has also gotten stronger.”

Southwood wide receivers’ coach Idaibi Ogbanga told me about Markray and his impact on the game.

“Markray will make an impact in our passing game,” said Opbanga. “He is a game-changer. He is a natural and has breakaway speed. Having him on the field makes our offense run smoother. We are looking for him to have a breakout season.”

Notes on Javien Markray: His hobbies are playing football and basketball and teaching other people how to elevate and get better, “because instead of me being selfish, I can teach and lead the next man to be better than me.”

His plans for college are to major in exercise science “to study movement and the associated functional responses and adaptations.”

Markray is open to any opportunity to extend his football career. “I would be grateful for anyone to recruit me,” he said.

His dad, Thaddius Markray, was drafted in the third round of the 1997 MLB June Amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds and played nine seasons of minor league baseball, going as high as Triple-A.

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