Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood, FL) 2021 quarterback Jaylon Tolbert is ecstatic to announce that he’ll be playing college football at Howard University. He announced his intentions Friday afternoon.
“My Dad has said from day 1, love who loves you,” Tolbert said on his decision to become a Bison. “My recruitment really just started heating up, but Howard is one of the best Universities in the world.”
The Bisons were the lucky winners to Tolbert’s service, selected over the likes of Alcorn State, Alabama State, Florida Tech, Ave Maria, and St. Thomas, among others. Listed at 6-foot-2, 170 pounds, 247Sports ranks the two-star as the No. 104 pro-style quarterback in the nation.
“I felt as if the coaches were consistent and showed genuine interest in me,” Tolbert said. “I’ve been playing football since I was 7 years old and know I have the tools and have proven my ability. To attend an institution of this prestige during the climate we are currently in should be an indication of heading in the right direction.”
Tolbert’s announcement was planned to perfection, committing to an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) on ‘Juneteeth’, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who were enslaved in the United States.
“I knew I was going to commit there a few days ago but what a better day to commit than today,” he said. “African American history and committing are both significant times for me, I think they fit well together.”
“I’ve attended predominantly white schools except for my 1 year at Hialeah, but have always played sports with those closer to my pigment. I think playing at an HBCU right now says I love who I am and want to make a difference and set a standard to create a trend.”
The relationship Tolbert built with Bisons head coach Larry Scott, along with other coaches on the staff made a great impact on helping him feel like Howard was the place to be at.
“Coach Scott and I have talked several times, along with coach [Vernon] Hargreaves, and [Lee] Hull via Twitter,” Tolbert said. “I’ve built up a great relationship and believe it has played a huge factor in my decision. Most, if not all the staff have coached at all levels, even [the] NFL. The new staff and current and prospective players are about to show what Howard can do with football.”
There isn’t a coach capable of changing the culture of a football team like Larry Scott, who has more than a decade of coaching experience at numerous Division I programs, including the University of Miami, the University of Tennessee and the University of South Florida. Before taking the job at Howard in early February, Scott was the tight ends coach at the University of Florida, who ended their 2019 season with an 11-2 overall record and a top-10 ranking in the country.
“I believe coach Scott is the man for the job and that’s why I chose the program,” Tolbert said. “Last night, in a zoom call with my Dad, myself, and the staff confirmed that.”
As for Scott’s playstyle, Tolbert believes his game will excel tremendously under his future coach.
“One of the things we talked about was giving the quarterback options to make decisions on the field,” he said. “We [also] talked about me being a pass-first quarterback. I’m not a running back or receiver so they know who they are getting. I can make zone reads, know when to leave the pocket, and can run if necessary. Coach Scott and coach Hull both know what they’re getting and I believe if anything I enhance their plays even more.”
Coming off an exciting junior season at Hialeah Senior High School, recording over 2700 passing yards and 43 total touchdowns, Tolbert decided to make the move to play at Chaminade-Madonna this upcoming season.
Chaminade-Madonna comes off their third straight Class 3A state championship, matching St. Thomas Aquinas’ 2014-16 record for consecutive state titles. The Lions finished its 2019 season with an impressive 12-2 record.
“Win, win, state championship, and win,” Tolbert said on his ultimate goal with the Lions. “I want to continue to show I’m a great leader on and off the field and hope to add to the legacy that is Chaminade-Madonna.”
Tolbert hopes the biggest impact he can make off the football field is to be a leader to his teammates.
“I’m definitely a leader and have always been raised that way,” he said. I don’t give up in the classroom or on the field. When you see someone excelling and doing well, I think it motivates people to want to be great as well. My path is greatness, and wherever I go, I’m giving 100% to make sure not only me, but my brothers and sisters around me do great things.”