This week’s feature is with former Savannah High School football standout Jarmal Stevens.
These days. Stevens and his family reside in Atlanta where he works as professional network marketer.
Stevens was born and raised in Savannah. He and his family lived on 37th street and then moved to the Westlake Community. As a teenager, they moved to east Savannah, off of Capital Street. He is the son of Faye Greene and Lorenzo Stevens and he has two brothers (Ameen Stevens and Everitt Robinson) and one sister (Candice Kabore).
As a youngster, Stevens looked up to his uncles and started playing sports because of them. “All of my uncles excelled at sports, so it became something I picked up from them. I played football and basketball, and I picked up swimming as well.”
He played youth football with the Forsyth Flames and basketball with the Lakers. While attending Savannah High, Stevens was a member of the Bluejackets football team.
“On the field for me, it was playing with guys who all had one goal and that was to win. Nobody had an ego. I remember when Alex Manker, who was a star, got hurt and I got put in the game my junior year. It was the third game and we were 0-3. From there we went 7-0, won the region and made the playoffs for the first time in awhile. We were not a powerhouse when it came to football, so that really had me excited to be a pioneer for the city.”
Away from athletes, he enjoyed hanging with friends, when he wasn’t working his part-time job at Williams Seafood.
“Most of my friends were comedians like Jamaal Moore, Pez, Jovan Tattnall, Eric Cutter and Fuches Lewis. I remember riding to school in the Lincoln with Mede and Fuches.” His play on the gridiron earned him local and state honors. ” I was All-City as a cornerback and All-State as well. I lead the state in interceptions as junior with 11.”
Those honors didn’t have college recruiters knocking down his door but there was a blessing for Stevens when he least expected it.
“I did not have any offers at the time and all of my teammates were going on visits and had offers. I had no intention on going to Valdosta State, but my coach, Tommy Macon, told me to be at school because a gentleman was coming to see me and told me to make a highlight tape. So the coach, Mike Majors, came to down to the weight room, shook my hand and squeezed my arm, and introduced himself. I never heard of Valdosta State, at the time. He looked at my highlight tape and offered me on the spot, but I was told not to sign anything until my mother looked at it. They asked me to visit. I was hesitant actually but it ended up being a great decision for me.”
Stevens majored in telecommunications while at VSU.
When asked did he have a game that stood out for him, he said that it was the Blazers game with Central Florida.
“I remember we went to Central Florida in 1994, and they were ranked number one in Division I-AA and we were a Division II school so this was supposed to be a warm up game for them. We came out victorious in that matchup.”
Stevens added that at the time Valdosta State was a scoring machine. “We lead the country in every offensive category. Our coach, Hal Mumme, was considered to be an icon in college football.”
It was also at VSU is where Stevens met his future wife. The couple has one daughter, Payton, who is five years old.
After getting his degree, he landed a job at Lucent-Technologies where he worked a variety of positions such as telecom technician, installer, billing analyst and hardware engineer.
He later went back to school and earned an advanced degree. “I attended Keller Graduate School of Management in 2002 and graduated in 2004.”
Stevens says he enjoys his current job. “The most rewarding part of my profession is showing people that they can do anything they want if they believe.”