Making a name for himself

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Lake City senior Logan Jeanselme has 49 receptions for 685 yards and eight touchdowns this season. LOREN BENOIT/Press

First, let’s start with his last name — Jeanselme.

It’s pronounced JEAN-sell-me.

Not JEN-sell-me.

Not Jen-SEMPLE, which he has heard as well.

JEAN-selme.

It’s getting better in recent weeks.

“They’re catching on now,” Lake City High senior football standout Logan Jeanselme says.

Sort of like Jeanselme and his new/old position as wide receiver for the Timberwolves.

The 6-foot, 160-pound Jeanselme moved to wide receiver last year, after playing quarterback the previous three seasons.

Already, he’s making a dent in the Lake City record book.

He is tied for third with 15 career touchdown catches — done in just 1 1/2 seasons, including a school-record five vs. East Valley last year. He has eight TD catches this season, two shy of the single-season TD catch mark.

And his flashy play on the field — as a wide receiver, cornerback and punt returner — elicits memories of a former T-Wolf star who did those things some 5-6 years ago.

Three weeks ago, the opposition chose to kick it to Jeanselme — and he grabbed the low kick and zipped 70 yards for a touchdown.

“I want to put a GPS on him in a game,” Lake City coach Brian Fulp said. “There’s a lot of distance traveled by him in a game.”

GROWING UP, Jeanselme played wide receiver and cornerback — until the quarterback on his junior tackle team in Coeur d’Alene switched to a team in Post Falls.

So Jeanselme switched to quarterback — more of a runner than a passer.

Two years ago, just before the game at Sandpoint — where Lake City played last week — Jeanselme was brought up from the junior varsity to be a starting cornerback as a sophomore.

“When he came up, he was arguably the best defender (on the varsity), as a sophomore,” Fulp said.

He’s started at corner ever since.

Fulp, the JV head coach two years ago, took over as varsity head coach last season — and that wasn’t until July, when he was named interim coach (midway through the season, school officials removed the “interim” tag).

Last year, Fulp and the other Lake City coaches decided two of Logan Jeanselme was better than one.

With the emergence of then-sophomore Chris Irvin at quarterback, the T-Wolves moved Jeanselme back to wide receiver. That way, he could still play cornerback as well, as most bigger schools prefer not to play their QBs on defense for fear of injury.

“When Chris came up, I wanted to play receiver, so I could be on the field more,” Logan said. “I didn’t just want to play defense; I wanted to play offense too. And the best way for me to do that was to play receiver. I already know all the plays ... it was pretty easy for me to switch over.”

Jeanselme is one of four two-way starters at Lake City.

“What it came down to is, he’s so valuable as a defender, and such a good athlete,” Fulp said. “We moved him to receiver so he could be on the field at all times.”

Oh, by the way, that quarterback that switched in junior tackle to a Post Falls team — Derek Pearse, now a senior in his second season as the Trojans’ starting quarterback. He had started playing Junior Tackle in Coeur d’Alene in fourth grade because Post Falls did not have Junior Tackle then.

Post Falls (4-2) and Lake City (3-3) play this Friday at Post Falls, in the 5A Inland Empire League opener for both teams.

LOGAN JEANSELME has always been small, weight-wise. But that has never stopped him.

“I was always super small,” Logan recalled. “I was a super late bloomer, so I was a really tiny kid. But I was able to hold my own with everybody else. I feel like that helped me, and now catching up with them weight wise, that’s really helped me a ton.”

His dad, Steve, was the same way growing up. He said he didn’t start putting on significant weight until just after high school.

“We tried everything (with Logan) — protein shakes, multiple meals ... a lot of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, and yogurts and things like that,” Steve said. “I think there’s a huge upside for Logan. I think in the next three years he’s got a tremendous amount of growth ahead of him.”

Logan started out playing soccer. Then Steve recalled the one day — when the family was still living in Salt Lake City, where Logan was born — when Logan, at the time in the first or second grade, came up to his dad and announced he was “retiring” from soccer so he could focus on playing football.

Seeking a smaller town and a slower pace of life, the family moved to Coeur d’Alene when Logan was in second grade. The next fall, he started playing in the “Fitz” League in Coeur d’Alene Junior Tackle, and he’s been putting on the pads ever since.

Logan remembers weighing about 100 pounds playing on the freshman football team, and lining up at cornerback as a sophomore weighing around 125, playing defense against quarterbacks like Colson Yankoff at Coeur d’Alene.

“Last year, he would get beat up and he’d be supported off the field,” Fulp said. “And then he’s back in business the next week.”

JEANSELME HAS 49 receptions for 685 yards and eight touchdowns this season. Last season, he caught 40 passes for 655 and seven TDs.

He’s rushed for one touchdown last season and one this season, and has a punt return TD this year for a total of 18 career TDs.

Jerry Louie-McGee (2012-14), now a fifth-year senior and the career receptions leader at Montana, holds the Lake City career record with 17 touchdown catches. Matt Troxel (2001-03) is second with 16, and Jeanselme is tied with Chris Delport (2004-05) for third with 15.

Louie-McGee and Delport share the single-season TD reception record with 10. Jeanselme is third with eight.

Jeanselme is third in career receptions (89) and fourth in career yards (1,340). Troxel had 151 catches for 2,036 yards, and Louie-McGee had 107 receptions for 1,928 yards. Delport finished with 67 catches for 1,347 yards.

Louie-McGee finished with 43 career TDs, Troxel 42.

HAD LOGAN stayed at quarterback ...

“We probably would have been more run-heavy, and more quarterback run for sure,” Fulp said.

If Irvin or someone else hadn’t been an option at quarterback?

“I love Logan as a quarterback,” Fulp said. “When he was a sophomore, we ran a lot with him. He’s tough, kids respect him, and he’s a natural leader. That’s what you want in a quarterback. I have no doubt that he would have been successful at that, too. Personally, I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of things in life that he’s not successful at.”

“Looking back I’m glad we made the switch, because I feel like things have turned out really well with how he’s doing, and how I’m doing,” Logan said. “Our connection’s really good.”

Logan made those comments last week, before Irvin suffered a broken collarbone early in last week’s game at Sandpoint. Irvin is out four weeks. Lake City, which has a shot at the playoffs, has three games remaining in the regular season. Fulp said Josiah Weaver, a sophomore who came in last week when Irvin was hurt, moves into the starting job at QB.

IN 2014, Logan remembers marveling over the play of another T-Wolf who played receiver and cornerback, and returned punts.

Logan watched that night as Jerry Louie-McGee returned two kickoffs and a punt for touchdowns, and caught a TD pass in an electric 45-42 overtime victory at Coeur d’Alene.

“I definitely try to be as much like him as possible,” Logan said. “ ... the ability to make a play look like it was done, and then you could just see him burst through like three guys and he was scoring a touchdown. Just watching that game and watching him was ... amazing.”

Lake City has had some lean years since then. Before losing to Sandpoint last week, the Timberwolves were above .500 for the first time since 2014, the last time Lake City, led by Louie-McGee, qualfied for the state 5A playoffs.

Jeanselme is one of the team’s captains, and he has taken the role seriously. He cut short a family vacation in Southern California this summer to return home and be with his Timberwolf teammates for weight training.

“It’s really important,” Logan said of being part of the revival of Lake City football. “I feel like all of our hard work is starting to show ... the work all these guys have done, that have been bought in for four years. The first three years didn’t really show so much, but now, it’s starting to show. We’re setting a precedent for what Lake City football is, and what the coming classes need to have.”

LOGAN WEARS No. 10 to honor his grandfather, Art Jeanselme, who played quarterback at Carbon High and at the College of Eastern Utah, both in Price, Utah. Steve also played football at Carbon High, as a receiver and defensive end.

“He (Logan) is much better than I ever was (as a receiver) — he’s a lot faster than I ever was,” Steve said. “And he’s got such a good mind for the game. He can read defenses ... and that’s a lot of reason how he’s able to get open, knowing where the holes were in the defense.”

Logan’s mom, Jen, graduated from Highland High in Pocatello. Steve and Jen met in college, at Utah State University in Logan. They named their first-born after the city in which they met. Logan has three younger sisters.

Taking advanced placement (A.P.) classes at Lake City, Logan said he hopes to go into engineering after college.

“Everything comes easy for Logan,” Steve said. “He’s athletic, he’s very good student, good kid ... it’s definitely been a blessing.”

He’s attracting interest from some of the smaller area colleges, who each offer the same advice — get bigger.

“I really hope he’s given the chance at the next level,” Fulp said, “because I think the sky’s the limit for what he can do.”

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