Alex Carr is watching prospect after prospect verbally commit to colleges across the country. Then, he looks at himself and sees the underdog, the guy who doesn't fit the mold.
"For me, that's a big motivation," the diminutive Class of 2011 cornerback said. "I see schools sign defensive backs left and right and I think, "Why not me?" But that's OK. I'm happy to have to prove myself. I want them to see me this season and say, "Hey, maybe we should have offered this kid sooner."
"I'm the guy that's undersized. I'm also the guy that's in the weight room at 6:30 in the morning and running 40s whenever I get the chance."
The Cedar Rapids Washington senior starts his final prep season this Friday night when the Warriors play host to Cedar Rapids Prairie. They're coming off a 9-3 season, which ended with a loss to eventual state champion Iowa City High.
"Our first goal, really, is just to be better than last year," Carr said. "Everybody's goal is to win the state. We need to get sharper. Penalties killed us last season and we need to not beat ourselves.
"We make the playoffs, but we can't seem to get over the hump. I think this year's team can get over the hump."
Carr, who holds scholarship offers from North and South Dakota State, will be the feature running back with the Andre Dawson leaving for Northern Iowa. Carr also will start at cornerback after playing safety a year ago. College scouts see him as a corner on the next level.
Carr (5-8, 161) ran out (literally) to a good start this summer. He posted a 4.4-second, 40-yard dash at a Midwest Elite camp.
"Coaches saw that and my recruiting took off a little bit," he said.
Carr camped at Iowa.
"There weren't many corners and wide receivers there," he said. "It was mostly linebackers and linemen. We didn't get that many reps, but I think I did OK during the ones I did get.
"Iowa has not said anything about a scholarship with me. They have a lot of guys to choose from and they want to see me play. Teams have seen me play corner at these camps and saw I can do it. They just all want to see me do it in high school. I just haven't played it a lot."
"Coach Lombardi coached at the Division I level and he thinks I have the hips and the feet to be real good at the next level," Carr said. "I anchored the 4x100 at state. I think once I get some time under my belt playing cornerback at the college level, I can excel."
"Coach (Bobby) Elliott, Coach (Courtney) Messingham and Coach (Paul) Rhoads all say a scholarship could be coming after they see me play," Carr said. "They say that, but there could be one and there might not be one. I just have to do my thing and see what happens."
Bowling Green is very interested in Carr's services, he said. Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Illinois State and Northern Iowa all are keeping an eye on him.
"I've talked with UNI," he said. "Andre Dawson has told me how much he likes it. I hope UNI comes down to see me play this year. I'd like to play close to home, but that will depend on who offers."