Before planning his path from the University of Tennessee to the NFL, Chargers rookie wide receiver Joshua Palmer grew up in Brampton, Ontario as a multi-sport athlete.
It was at 15 years old when Palmer decided to bring his dream of playing football to the states. He enrolled at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. -- a football powerhouse.
"[I] just wanted to pursue my dreams of being where I am today," Palmer said. "It was a family decision. It was the best opportunity for me to go and showcase my talent to get recruited at one of the best high schools -- the best high school in the country. When I went down there, I was laser-focused on the goal."
Palmer was drafted by Los Angeles in the third round (No. 77 overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft. Thirty picks before that, his St. Thomas Aquinas teammate, cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., was selected to the same team.
"I didn't expect it," Palmer said. "I definitely didn't expect it, but even having Asante here it makes the transition a little more easier just because I know a familiar face. But now we can go head-to-head again like we were at St. Thomas."
In recent years, Canadian-born players like Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool and Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry have been top 50 draft picks. Four players from Canada were selected in 2021.
Palmer said he looks forward to that becoming commonplace in the NFL.
"You got one of my close friends, one of my brothers, [WR] John Metchie who's making a lot of noise at Alabama," Palmer said. "And eventually, recruiters are going to want to just go to another country to start recruiting. It's really like that in basketball now where you got a lot of Canadian-born basketball players going to the NBA, and a lot of Canadian-born basketball players are being drafted.
"And soon, eventually, it's going to be the norm for football and I can't wait to see that happen."
Watch the full CBSLA feature on Palmer below.
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