St. Peters Prep Football

Coming into the 2010 Football Season, St. Peter’s Prep’s needed to replace last seasons starting quarterback.     In stepped talented Junior Brandon Napoleon and he did not disappoint.  Brandon proved to be one of the top dual threat quarterbacks in New Jersey and helped lead his team to a nine wins with only two losses.  Prep reached the semi finals of Parochial School Group IV, and continued the program’s winning tradition.

While the season ended on a down note losing to nationally ranked Don Bosco Prep, Brandon’s abilities to make every throw and to be a big part of the running game bring great optimism to Preps chances for next season.    In speaking with him, you come away impressed with his maturity and attention to detail.

Brandon started playing organized sports at age seven in Rahway, NJ.  In the fall, he was busy playing football and in the winter he would switch to basketball.    The decision to concentrate on football over basketball was not an easy one.  At one point he was thinking that he would play basketball as his main sport.

“I think I was about equal in both sports.  I started to play AAU basketball and I thought I would concentrate on basketball.  There are so many leagues year round; it is hard to play basketball and another sport.  But in the end I started to miss football and realized it was my preference,” states Brandon.

After finishing junior high school, his parents felt it would be best to send Brandon to a private high school.  He ended up choosing St. Peters Prep.  Brandon put a lot of thought into his decision.   “I knew that going to St. Peters Prep would give me a great education, I would get excellent coaching under Coach (Rich) Hansen, and I would play against the top teams in New Jersey.   I just put two and two together,” says Brandon.

Brandon’s freshman year he played at freshman and junior varsity levels at quarterback and at cornerback.  As a sophomore he made the varsity level and was the starting cornerback and the backup quarterback.  He was chosen first team All Hudson County on defense.   He worked everyday with the starting quarterback Rafael Perez, who Brandon credits for helping him learn the position.

This season he has lessened his role on defense, but still comes into play defense in the bigger games.  When Prep needs someone to lock down on a top wide receiver, they turn to Brandon to get the job done.   This was the case in this year’s playoff game against Notre Dame Prep where his second half interception turned the game around.

On the season, Brandon put up good numbers.   More importantly, he continued to get better as the season went on and had some of his best games against the best teams.

Brandon’s college recruitment has been busy.  He averages about ten letters a day from prospective colleges.    A few schools have offered him a scholarship verbally, but under the new NCAA rules, he is not allowed to receive an official written offer until September.

Brandon prefers playing quarterback but he also knows that he may end up playing another position in college.   “I am being recruited as an athlete so I could end up playing on either side of the ball.  But I would prefer to go to a program that has used dual threat quarterbacks in their offense so I feel they would be open to playing me there,” states Brandon.

The offseason is going to be busy for Brandon and the Napoleon family, as they have mapped out their plan that involves visiting colleges up and down the East Coast, a very strict training regiment under the tutelage of St. Peter’s Head Coach Rich Hansen, and most importantly a commitment to continue to perform at the highest level in the classroom.

“From now until Christmas, we lift twice a week at school but after Christmas, it picks up again and we work out Monday thru Friday,” states Brandon.   “I will also continue to throw the ball on my own and work with receivers J.R. Robinson and Najee Glass.”

If Brandon can’t find a teammate to throw to, he can always count on his father.  Brandon’s father, Eugene, was a top running back at West Virginia University and played professionally in the Arena Football League.  Brandon’s mother, Tracey, is a former Division III All-American college basketball player.

Brandon praises both parents for helping him get to where he is.  “They both tell me the same things that I need to concentrate on my school work first.   When I play sports I need to play with passion, be a student of the game, and to play with a high motor.”

When he is not training, he will be visiting schools.  Brandon has been to Rutgers University and met the coaches.  He is also been invited and plans to take unofficial visits to schools this winter including going to a basketball game at University of Connecticut, visiting West Virginia University and possibly Michigan.

During the summer, his family will make a trip going down to Miami, with stops at Rutgers, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

Having a father that has gone through the process really helps.  “Our role as parents is to help him make his own choice.  I don’t want him to get caught up in the hype of a sales pitch.  We will help guide him but we are confident that our son will make the right choice for him for the right reasons,” states Mr. Napoleon.

Late summer begins the 7 on 7 tournaments, and that leads into training camp.  Brandon expects to become one of the team leaders next season and follow the advice of the Coach Rich Hansen.  “Coach Hansen is a great motivator who stresses for us to take great pride in the program and never quit.  At Prep, we play for the players before us and the ones who will come after us,” states Brandon.





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