Carl Winston, a 5-foot-9, 205-pound tailback from Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, Calif., has been a big factor in his team's undefeated season as a senior this fall.
Winston has rushed for more 1,400 yards and 19 touchdowns while catching 20 passes for 283 yards and four touchdowns. He is averaging 8.8 yards every time he touches the football.
Winston and his teammates take on El Segundo in the CIF semifinals today. Junipero Serra is 12-0 and El Segundo is 10-2.
Winston said he prides himself on being a complete player, capable of doing everything asked of running backs. He said he models himself after San Diego Charger LaDainian Tomlinson, even though he is an Oakland Raiders fan at heart.
"I have great vision," Winston said. "I can also catch passes out of the backfield. I can make guys miss. I always make the first guy miss. I always have made the first person miss."
Scout.com rated Winston as a two-star player earlier this year, but that ranking could improve based on the senior year he has had. He has rushed for more than 4,700 yards in his high school career.
His team's success has forced Winston to postpone most of his official visits to colleges this fall. He plans to visit Colorado in January. Winston said he has a good relationship with running backs coach Darian Hagan, who has been recruiting him for the CU program. Winston also recently received a passing score on his SAT, which should accelerate his recruiting.
"He's really evolved and matured in that aspect," his father, Carl Winston Sr., said. The elder Winston played college ball at New Mexico in the early 1990s.
Winston said he is also considering Boise State, Washington State, Arizona State and San Jose State as possible college destinations. Winston said he is planning visits to Colorado, Arizona State and San Jose State. He has already visited Washington State this season ann enjoyed his weekend there.
"There is no favorite right now," Winston said.
Winston said the atmosphere around the team and his relationship with coaches will play a big part in what school he chooses. He said he does not know any of the current Colorado players, but he is familiar with running back Darrell Scott, who made a name for himself the past three seasons in Southern California.
Winston said he has no problem joining a program where six other running backs already are on scholarship and none of the six is slated to graduate next season.
"I just look at it like this, wherever I go, I know I'm going to have to compete," Winston said. "So it doesn't like scare me or anything."