Out of Burroughs high school in
His name is Hayo Carpenter
Standing just under 6 foot tall, weighing around 180 pounds, Carpenter could be considered a physical wideout, possibly out of the slot, but it doesn't take you long before you learn where his true gift lies.
Blistering speed, ridiculous speed; the kind of speed that leaves your own coaches drooling and other coaches cringing in anticipation.
Of course, speed is nothing if
you can't translate to the field, but lucky enough for
Try 1,456 yards receiving last year on not even 80 catches, scoring 16 times and averaging over 19 yards per grab.
Carpenter would be the first to tell you, though, that speed doesn't matter if you don't know what to do off the line. "Most defenses are going to give me a cushion, so you have to be prepared to run a lot of fast and short routes, comebacks and a whole lot of slants," Hayo said. "Once you get them sucked in on the line, though, that's when you blow the top off."
That's the colorful term for telling Hayo that once the ball is snapped, he's to do what he does best: fly
That's when the game is the most fun.
"If you see them coming up on you, because they think another slant is coming, you give them a look off line like you are going in and then peel off their shoulder and go on by," Carpenter said.
"Some try what they can to stay with me, but most either just grab me to keep me from going by or just fall back on their heels."
"Either way, I'm gone."
That's probably a common phrase used by the announcers when calling one of Carpenter's games. It's not rare in the world of track and field either, Hayo's team setting the school record in the 4 X 100 relay.
It's all about speed, so while everyone else might be happy when they rip off a 4.45 at a Nike Combine, Carpenter only thinks one thing: It should have been faster.
"I've been timed in the 4.3s here, so it was a good time, but I know I can run a lot faster than that," he said. "I'm hoping to get my time consistently in the 4.3s this year."
That speed, those stats, it's enough raw potential that schools should be clamoring for his number, sending him mail and offers by the truckload. Well, the offers are few right now, totaling three, but Carpenter is already working on the reason why the number is as small as it is.
"I have offers from places like
The offer from
Of the offers, letters and
assorted mailings, Hayo hasn't thought much of the process or even about the
schools in question, but has looked at it enough to say that of his choices,
he's got a leader right now. "I think I'd have to lean towards
If the grades go up, the offers will go up for Carpenter. That would seem fairly obvious. If the offers go up, his stock goes up as well. Carpenter isn't worried about his stock, however, because he figures something that would seem to be true; if he's at least as good as he was as a junior, his stock is assured.
"I know what I can do, but I want everyone else to see it to," he said. "It's not arrogance either, it's just that I don't know that many people believe in what I can do."
"That's what I plan to do this year, so that when people see me play, they know something special could happen."
Hayo said that while he hopes to make some unofficial visits this summer, he's not certain it will fit in with his rigorous and full 7 on 7 schedule; Carpenter stating that he had at least four more tournaments to play.