BATON ROUGE - Baby Ray is a term best left for maternity wards and barbecue sauce, but, in a pinch, it could also be a fitting description for Scotlandville High senior linebacker Jimyon Profit.
At least, that’s what Scotlandville coach Jules Sullen says.
As Scotlandville’s defensive captain, Profit leads with his level of play in games and his work ethic at practice. It’s enough for Sullen to compare the positive traits he sees in Profit to those of former Baltimore Ravens All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis.
“(Profit) reminds me of a baby Ray Lewis in that everything he does, he’s going to do it with the tenacity it takes to be great. I have a lot of respect and admiration for him,” said Sullen, whose ninth-ranked team is 2-0 heading into this week’s game at Southern Lab.
Sullen is in his first year with Scotlandville after a stint as head coach at LaGrange in Lake Charles. After Sullen arrived at Scotlandville, it didn’t take long for Profit to make an impression.
“In the short time I’ve been with him, he’s exemplified dynamic leadership skills on the field and off as well as in the weight room,” Sullen said. “He’s a tremendous film studier and he’s a very good practice player.”
Sullen didn’t stop there.
“In high school, sometimes players only want to play in games, but once he straps everything on its game time. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a midweek practice or a pregame walkthrough.”
To his credit, Profit downplays comparisons to Lewis. Instead, he talks about doing things to improve his play and inspire his teammates.
“I know I’ve got a long way to go,” said Profit, who has drawn recruiting interest from Southern Miss as well as in-state schools. “I just try to work my hardest, so I can get ahead of people because I know some people may work harder than me. The time that I do work, I’ve got to give it my all.”
Going all out has made Profit a staple on the Hornets defense since he was a sophomore in 2016, producing one of the Hornets biggest plays that season in a week 8 win over District 4-5A foe Walker.
With less than a minute to play and Walker inside the SHS 10-yard line, Proifit tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage, and then snatched it in midair for an interception to preserve a 33-28 win.
This season, Scotlandville has had to adjust to a new coaching staff after former coach LeVanta Davis left to be the defensive coordinator at St. James High. It’s an adjustment that Profit says has been handled to near perfection by Sullen.
“Coach Sullen and coach Davis preach the same thing – discipline, discipline,” Profit said. “(Sullen) came in with open arms and he knew what he wanted to do. It didn’t feel like he was a new coach. He wanted to make us a family before he set any rules.”
Through it all, Profit’s level of play has been steady. He leads Scotlandville in tackles and sacks, and, as Sullen puts it, “is pretty much leading in every defensive category we probably have.”
Defense has been a constant so far this season.
In a 21-6 jamboree win over East Feliciana, Scotlandville gave up a long touchdown pass early in the game. From there, the Hornets held the Tigers to one first down the rest of the way. Profit capped the scoring with a 32-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
In week 1, a 21-0 win over McKinley, the Hornets were plagued by penalties. It slowed the Scotlandville offense down, but the defense was solid in recording a shutout.
Last week, Scotlandville held Madison Prep scoreless for a half before leaning on its defense in a 22-14 win. It was a game that included four scoreless trips into the red zone for Scotlandville, but a third-quarter safety helped the Hornets hold off the Chargers.
Having defense take the spotlight is no surprise to Profit.
“This year’s defense is a great defense,” he said. “I can move around more; I can see more. There’s a lot of things we can do, and we can really fly around. I love it.”