Small School Star Displays Big Skills

This small school standout is looking to make a name for himself on the recruiting circuit before next fall.

Autaugaville, Ala.-–If athlete Xavier Carroll has his wishes there will be another small-school success story similar to Courtney Taylor in the SEC down the road. A standout at quarterback and defensive back for the Eagles, the 5-9, 170 Carroll is an explosive player that could see his stock rise dramatically after he makes the summer camp circuit beginning in May.

An All-State performer in both football and basketball in Class 1A, Alabama's smallest classification, Carroll has been a starter since the eighth grade for the Eagles. At that time he only played defense, but he moved to quarterback as a ninth grader and has been there ever since. Last season he rushed for over 1,700 yards as the Eagles' main offensive weapon, his second-straight season over 1,000 yards, and also intercepted five passes on defense. That season caught the eye of schools across the country and the letters have been pouring in since that time.

"I'm getting a lot of letters right now," Carroll tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I'm getting them from Auburn, Alabama, UCLA, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Kentucky, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Louisville and some others. My only offer is from Troy right now."

Xavier Carroll plays both ways for the Class 1A Eagles.

It was easy for the Trojans to get the first shot in recruiting Carroll because they got a chance to see him up close and personal just two years ago while they were recruiting his older brother Rhod. Redshirted last year for the Trojans, Rhod is expected to become a contributor this fall for the Troy squad. Even with that there is one school that Carroll says he's always been a fan of.

"I grew up an Auburn fan," Carroll says. "I've just always liked them the most."

Carroll says he plans to camp at Auburn, Alabama and Troy this summer in the hopes of showing the coaches that he's good enough to play in the SEC. If his skills in Alabama's Junior All-Star game last winter in Troy are any indication then he's in pretty good shape. One of the top performers in the game, Carroll got a chance to prove himself against players from bigger schools around the state and more than held his own.

Being recruited by most schools as an athlete that could play a number of different positions, Carroll, who ran a 4.5 second 40-yard dash in Troy, seems to be a perfect fit at cornerback and says that's his preferred position in college. "My best position would be at cornerback," Carroll says. "I can defend pretty good. I would also do pretty good at receiver though."

Xavier is also a standout on the basketball court for Autaugaville. Last season he led the Eagles to the Final Four in Birmingham as he averaged 18.5 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and five steals per game for the season. He was named the most valuable player in the county, area and the Southeast Regional tournaments along the way. He was also named to the All-Tournament team in Birmingham.

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