"That camp was really good," said Carey. "There was a lot of energy. Their coaches come with a lot of energy and a passion for the game of football. One thing I picked up is that being a football player is not enough for them. They want their players to be outstanding on and off the field and come to their school with the intention to be the best player that I can be."
Although he did not walk away from Western's camp with an offer, Carey thoroughly enjoyed the competitive atmosphere and opportunity to improve on his skills. For Carey, who has already camped at Central Michigan over the summer, this was a much-welcomed introduction to the Western Michigan staff.
Earlier in the month, Carey made the trip to Mt. Pleasant (Mich.) to participate in Central Michigan's June 8 one-day camp after receiving an invitation from Chippewas defensive back coach Archie Collins, who is in his second year with the program.
"Beforehand, Archie [Collins] had come to the weight room during one of our practices to ask about me," said Carey. "When I went to the camp, he had me in the elite line where he was looking at the kids who he wanted to recruit the most. He wanted to make sure what he had heard was true about my footwork and ball skills."
During camp, Carey delivered an impressive showing that generated a considerable amount of scuttlebutt from other college coaches in attendance. Carey was sound technique-wise during position drills and did not allow a completion during one-on-ones.
"I think the CMU camp went pretty well," said Carey. "I learned a lot of new techniques during the drills that I picked up from them. They have a good defensive back system up there, and it all felt like a family up there. I was vibing with the players and vibing with the coaches. It was a real good atmosphere up there."
After camping at both Central Michigan and Western Michigan in quick succession, Carey has been able to draw some conclusions regarding the two programs. Both impressed from his account.
"Some similarities I have noticed between Western Michigan and Central Michigan is their drive to be the top team in their conference," said Carey. "They really pinpoint the technique of their players. A lot of schools just want talent, but these two, from the camps I have been at, they really focus on the technique that their players use. They care about how correctly you come out of your break, how a defensive back's stance should be, how to play on or how to play off. That stood out to me and really helps a good player become an elite football player."
As the summer camp circuit continues to trudge forward, Carey has been working to maintain his relationship with programs already aware of his talent, such as Central Michigan, while also casting his net far and wide to other programs that are recruiting him.
"Siena Heights is the main school pursuing me, but I've been in touch with Central Michigan a lot," said Carey. "They have been talking to me a lot and communicated with me about camps. They have a lot of interest in me and they want me to come back out to their camp on July 28."
With Siena Heights, Central Michigan and Western Michigan firmly in the mix at this point, Carey has begun to envision himself at each potential school, with one standing out at this early juncture.
"I could see myself going to Central Michigan," said Carey. "I really like the atmosphere, and also it is close to home and still in Michigan. I don't want to go too far away from my family. My friend Shahid Bellamy is already committed to Central Michigan, and I would like to go up there with him and take a shot at winning a ring in the MAC conference.
"I visited Central Michigan for their one-day camp on June 8, but I haven't visited Siena at all. I definitely want to schedule a visit at Siena Heights, especially because my good friend Davonte Malcolm is going there next year. I want to head up there and see how everything is there."
As the recruiting cycle continues to unfold and present more options for Carey, he still remains focused on the pursuit for greatness, starting at his position, as opposed to the hunt for offers.
"My offseason has been really good," said Carey. "I've been participating in one-day varsity camps at colleges and I'm also involved with the HYPE 7-on-7 team to help keep my skills up. They have been keeping me fresh and teaching my new things at both receiver and defensive back. I've also been heading up to Oak Park on the weekends for technique work and 1-on-1s.
"Right now what I've been working on mostly is my footwork and really working on press coverage. Now a days, everybody wants a corner who can press and that's what I see a lot of college coaches looking for as well. That's mostly what I've been working on and getting receivers jammed and off of their line… sticking with them step for step and not biting on double moves."
As team practices begin with vigor for Oak Park, Carey is seeing the fruits of his labor pay off on the field.
"I have [seen improvement], especially when I went to the Central Michigan camp," said Carey. "I noticed that I went against a lot of division 1 caliber receivers and I noticed my game improving by going against other top-notch players. Even guys from out of state that came up, I felt like I was up to par with them as far as my technique goes. No one outran me and I stayed on their hips step for step."
But as with any craft, Carey recognizes that he still has work to do if he wants to reach his full potential as a football player.
"Me learning about the game, I see that it is about speed and stuff, but if you have a good IQ about how the game of football is played, you can be great. That's what separates good players from great players."