Carter going for the gold

When it comes to two sport stars, Xavier Carter shines.<br><br>He could quite possibly be a future Olympian as soon as 2004 or 2008, and he also happens to be one of the nation's top football prospects.

When it comes to speed you don't get much faster than Xavier Carter. At 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, he is a five-star wide receiver prospect from Melbourne (Fla.) Palm Bay High School and is also the state track champion in the 100, 200 and 400 meters.

Carter is nationally ranked among high schoolers in the 100 (3rd), 200 (1st) and 400 (1st). Last fall, he caught 28 passes for over 800 touchdowns and 12 scores to help Palm Bay win a state football title.

"Obviously I can run and have super speed," Carter said. "But I am just starting to learn the position and my route running and hands are getting much better. I think I am a big play guy."

This season, Carter will be more involved in the offense and play a specific role on defense. In the spring game, Palm Bay beat powerhouse Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely with Carter scoring the winning touchdown. Coaches played him at receiver, moving him around to the slot, and running back.

Defensively, Carter took Reggie Nelson's (Florida signee) spot as a rover.

"We will certainly try and get him the ball in different ways this season," said Palm Bay coach Dan Burke. "He is physical and can go over the middle. His hands get better and better and he now looks comfortable with the ball. Xavier is a tough player with great speed."

Carter is also a special teams standout. He is a very good kick returner but is even more impressive in kickoff coverage. Carter is usually the first guy down the field and he consistently makes the tackle inside the opponent's 20. In fact, he gets down field so quickly, more times than not he pins returners back inside the 15.

"I get real excited when we are about to kickoff. My adrenaline gets going and I get down that field. It's a great feeling knowing I can help out our defense like that."

In football terms, Carter has super sonic speed. He has been timed electronically at 10.38 seconds in the 100 and is the state record holder in the 200.

This star has a bright future in two sports on two big stages - college football and international track.

"I definitely want to run in the Olympics and win that gold medal. Right now, I am hoping to get on the '04 team for the 200 meters. My best time is 20.7 and I need to get down in the 19s. If not, than I will look towards 2008.

"For football, I want that scholarship and see where it takes me. It's the best of both worlds."

Carter has dozens of football scholarship offers thus far. For now, he has several favorites with no leaders.

"Right now, Florida, LSU, Tennessee, UCLA, South Carolina, Alabama and Miami are the schools I like. Miami was my dream school but they don't have that great of a track program. I just want to take my visits and we'll see on Signing Day."

Carter camped this weekend at Florida where his two close friends. Joe Cohen and Reggie Nelson, signed last Febuary. Carter would love to camp at LSU at the end of this month.


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