Posted: 5:49 pm Monday, December 17th, 2012

Former Palm Beach Central star Angelo Jean-Louis commits to Marshall 

By Jeff Greer

Angelo Jean-Louis always wanted to go to Miami.

Angelo Jean-Louis was a standout receiver and defensive back at Palm Beach Central.

The Palm Beach Central grad and freakishly talented athlete constantly talked about the Hurricanes throughout his junior and senior years of high school and signed with them in February 2012. But Jean-Louis (6-foot, 185 pounds) didn’t get his academics in order in time to qualify for the 2012-13 academic year, forcing the Wellington native to matriculate to Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia, where he planned to get his grades and test scores up and re-enroll at Miami in time for the 2013 season.

Last week those plans changed.

Miami backed off of recruiting Jean-Louis and canceled his official visit to the Coral Gables campus, which was set for this past weekend. The reason? Admissions flagged his test scores and Miami had had enough. Scrambling, Jean-Louis instead traveled to Huntington, W. Va., where he toured the Marshall campus with his dad. He loved it, and on Monday, he said he verbally committed to play for the Thundering Herd. Jean-Louis said he planned to enroll at Marshall, which he called a “great place,” after Christmas break.

“I would have to wait too long for them to investigate (my scores),” Jean-Louis said, referring to the Miami admissions process. “Marshall’s been here for me since Day 1. We decided it was a good place for me, so I pulled the trigger.”

Marshall is a constant presence in Palm Beach County, and it has a reputation for snapping up big-time football prospects who’ve struggled academically. A big reason for that is its “prop program,” which helps those prospects become full academic qualifiers after sitting out a year as a redshirt. Perhaps the most recent high-profile example is Kent Turene, a hotly recruited linebacker who originally signed in 2011 to play at Georgia but never qualified. He’s in Marshall’s prop program and will be eligible next season.

Aside from that, Thundering Herd coach Doc Holliday was a well-known recruiter for West Virginia before heading to Marshall, where he’s continued that tradition with the help of Glades Central grad and Marshall recruiting coordinator JaJuan Seider. Marshall offered Jean-Louis a scholarship during his high school days at Palm Beach Central, and stayed on him after he left for Fork Union. Only more recently did the split with Miami become more apparent, as the Canes backed off Jean-Louis and moved their interests in other directions.

Yet Jean-Louis maintains what he lived and breathed from the very beginning of his recruiting process: He’ll always want to be a Miami Hurricane.

“Still got love for my Miami family,” he said in a text message to a Post reporter. “Wish them all the best.”