Lacarea Pleasant-Johnson raises his right arm, then his left.
On the right bicep, it says, “Jaqu31.” On the left, it reads, “Pleasant.”
His mother’s name, Jaquel Pleasant, run deep in his heart. The tattoos were put there after he moved from Washington two years ago and began his Phoenix Mountain Pointe football career as a long, athletic cornerback who remembers his mom pulling him out of trouble as a child and giving him paths to succeed.
She steered him into football, took him to his games and cheered from the sideline until she lost her battle to lung cancer when she was 31 and Lacarea was 11.
“Having to go through that was big,” Pleasant-Johnson said. “But I tell you what, not a lot of people can go through this. But I think I was chosen at that time, just like this.”
The time is now for Pleasant-Johnson to ball out on the field. He is a senior , one of the state’s top-recruited cornerbacks, an athletic freak at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, who wears jersey No. 31 to signify the age his mom died.
He’ll take her spirit with him Friday night at Phoenix Pinnacle, where he’ll be assigned to senior quarterback Spencer Rattler’s hottest receiver, perhaps Kaleb Covington, who averaged 38 yards on four catches against Perry.
Rattler is the big name in high school football in America. He came into the season ranked as the No. 1 prostyle quarterback in the nation in the 2019 class, a five-star, who this week was among the Chosen 25 by USA Today.
“Spencer is going to make plays, but we just have to know how to bounce back,” Pleasant-Johnson said. “He’s a great quarterback. But we also have a good defensive coordinator (Conrad Hamilton) and also a head coach (Rich Wellbrock).”