Scouting the X-Man

Perhaps the fastest prospect in the nation is <B>Xavier Carter</B> from Melbourne (Fla.) Palm Bay High School. Yesterday, I got to watch his spring game and highlights from last season.

We have all heard a lot about the athletic exploits of Xavier Carter from Melbourne (Fla.) Palm Bay High School. Carter, 6-3 and 190 pounds, is one of the nation's premiere track guys (100, 200 and 400). He runs a sub 4.4 forty and has a tremendous future in track. Well, based on what I saw on film, he has a tremendous future in football as well.

I saw two different things on film. The first part of the tape was the Palm Bay versus Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely spring game from a few weeks ago. In that game, Palm Bay won 22-14 and Carter caught the game winning touchdown reception. Palm Bay Head Coach Dan Burke told me last month that they wanted to use Carter in different ways this season. He plays in the slot and as a wing back in addition to playing wide receiver. He carries the ball a few times and ran pretty hard. He also is taking Reggie Nelson's (signed with Florida) place on the defense. Overall, Carter was pretty active on defense against some great competition in Ely.

The next part of the tape was highlights from Palm Bay's championship season last year. Carter was a huge part of their state championship. As a wide receiver, he constantly made big plays, especially getting deep. He showed good hands in catching the ball and he obviously uses that great speed to get behind the secondary. Speaking of hands, this was a highlight tape, so they put nothing in there but good highlights. Carter looked to catch the ball with his hands, not his body, he came back to back on certain routes and used his body well in going up for the ball. He is also getting more comfortable with the ball in his hands.

Perhaps the most impressive thing on the highlight tape was ability to make plays on kickoff coverage. He was always the first guy down the field and on 8-10 different occasions, he made the tackle on the kick coverage, pinning the opposition back inside the 15 and 20 yard line. Not only was he making the tackle but he made some big hits as well. This shows me that Xavier Carter is a total football player, not just a track guy playing the game.

Overall, he has all the tools - size, speed and athleticism to be a major recruit and top-notch college football prospect.

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