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St. Martinville 2024 WR Cullen Charles is 'the guy now' as the Tigers' go-to target

Arizona State commit scored 3 TDs as Tigers got first win of the season

ST. MARTINVILLE, LOUISIANA - Cullen Charles got a text from an Arizona State staffer a couple of days before the senior receiver's game against Breaux Bridge last week.

The staff member predicted that Charles, a senior receiver for St. Martinville and a Sun Devils' commit, would gain 150 yards with two touchdown. The prediction was almost right on target. 

Charles caught four passes for 165 yards and three TDs in St. Martinville's 40-19 win.

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"He was the first person I texted after the game," Charles said. "I told him that he called it."

Charles' first touchdown was an 80-yard bomb down the left sideline on his team's first offensive play. His second score, another fly pattern where he split out wide to the left, put the Tigers ahead to stay, 14-13, in the third quarter.

On the latter play, he split two defenders in the secondary to haul in the 74-yard strike from quarterback Kaden Zenon. The 165 yards and three TDs were career bests.

"He's been waiting on that," Tigers' coach Vincent DeRouen said. "He has good speed, is explosive, aggressive and catches the ball well."

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Charles spent the past three seasons sharing the football with receiver Harvey Broussard, who is making waves as a true freshman at the University of Louisiana.

"I've been working on this since my freshman year," Charles said. "I'm the guy now.

"The work I put in at practice carried out to the game. It wasn't anything special to me."

The 6-foot, 180-pounder takes pride in all aspects of his game. DeRouen mentioned that Charles' blocking downfield enabled Zenon to score on two quarterback keepers.

Charles will likely face one of the nation's best cornerbacks this week when St. Martinville (1-2) travels to New Iberia to face Westgate (3-0) and Jaboree Antoine.

Antoine, a junior, is ranked as a five-star prospect, the nation's No. 4 cornerback and No. 26 player by the 247SportsComposite. Last week, Antoine and his teammates in the secondary frustrated an Evangel Christian offense that came into the game averaging hefty passing numbers.

"It doesn't matter who guards me," Charles said. "I just have to make plays."

Antoine is also Westgate's starting quarterback. In Travis Hunter-type fashion, he'll play both sides of the ball.

"In crunch time, (Antoine) gets in there and guards the best receiver," DeRouen said. "We're expecting to see him on Cullen."

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ESPN rates Charles as a three-star prospect and the No. 34 player in Louisiana. He committed to Arizona State in July on the heels of an official visit.

His next trip to the campus will be to watch the Sun Devils host Colorado on Oct. 7.

"When I first got out there, it was nothing but love," he said. "They made things perfect for me. The way I look at it, I'm going to be most successful at a place where I'm comfortable."

ASU head coach Kyle Dillingham and receivers coach/passing game coordinator Ra'Shaad Samples stay in close contact with Charles.

"It wasn't like, 'He committed, now we got him,'" Charles said. "I'm always talking to them. They want to know how I'm doing, how my family is doing, how my season is going.

"One time, I Face-timed with the whole staff. They've really gotten to know me."

Photo of St. Martinville receiver Cullen Charles (2) by Brad Bowie, The Acadiana Advocate

-- Mike Coppage | @SBLiveLA