Whenever you go talk to a young man and perspective D-I athlete you aren't always sure whom you are talking to, or what kind of person they are. Especially when they put up numbers like Sandia High School's Michael Scarlett did last year for the Matadors. 35 receptions for 881 yards and 10 touchdowns (Scarlett started 1 game at QB.) Toss in that Scarlett also returns kicks and punts, plus played DB registering 52 tackles and 4 interceptions and you have the makings of a great high school season. A season that has D-I coaches looking at the Albuquerque native.
With all that going on it would be very easy for a young man of this quality to get a big head and talk himself up and that is exactly what we gave him the opportunity to do when I headed down to the Sandia campus, but that isn't what happened. Instead I found myself speaking to a humble young man. When I asked him to talk about himself and his goals for the future, a future that is looking very bright, the first words out of Scarlett's mouth were… "I just want to get the win and help my team out."
But Michael, you're on the verge of an important summer. Your opportunity to earn a collegiate scholarship, to live the dream of all high school football players, what about you? What are you looking to do this fall? "Have fun."
Let's talk about you Michael; I understand that you play wide receiver, quarterback, safety, return punts, and kicks. Which position do you like the most and what position would you rather play?
I prefer wide receiver, but I'll do what ever it takes to get the win.
What would a D-I coach get from Michael Scarlett?
I run good routes, I have good hands, and adjust to the ball well; but still want to work on my speed.
So you're not sitting on your laurels then are you?
No, I've got to work on my speed and after being at Nike Camp in Southern California this year I have to gain some more weight as well.
If you didn't know yet Michael went to the Nike Camp in Los Angeles last month and had a nice camp, one in which he said they clocked him running a 4.5 40! I also asked him how he compared to the athletes at the camp.
In New Mexico I have a height advantage over most DB's here.
Scarlett at Nike Camp
So it was more challenging at the camp. Did you play 7 on 7?
No, we went 1-on-1. It went really well, I went up against some pretty good athletes. There were a lot of big athletes out there and I need to get bigger. I would like to gain 15 lbs. over the summer to get where I need to be.
Michael, what camps do you plan on attending this summer?
Right now, Colorado, New Mexico, and possibly Miami they sent me some stuff the other day.
And what schools are you hearing from right now?
Georgia Tech, New Mexico, New Mexico St., Colorado, Kansas St., and Army.
Any offers as of yet?
No I haven't taken my ACT yet, I'll take them next month and think I'll start hearing more from schools at that point.
I know a lot of high school players are shy when a camera or microphone is put in front of their face, but in the case of Scarlett it wasn't being shy, he just didn't come across as a braggart so after I spoke with Michael I spoke with Sandia Coach Kevin Barker about Michael.
He is very modest, he has great hands, adjusts to the ball better then anyone I've had in 14 years, very good speed and escape ability, plus his leaping ability. Whoever picks him up is going to get a quality young man that is as focused in the classroom as he is on the football field and is extremely respectful.
After delving a little further into Michael Scarlett's life I found out how tough his junior and upcoming seasons are for this young man as his father was deployed to Iraq last fall and won't return until December of 2006.
"With his dad being in Iraq, he has 3 younger brothers and one of them is disabled, he has a lot on him right now. His dad he was deployed the day before the La Cueva game," said Barker. So that must have been a pretty tough game for Michael? Yes, but he went out and broke the school record with 7 catches 180 yards receiving.
Talk about mental toughness! "He has plenty of that," exclaims Coach Barker.
The future is bright from this wide receiver from Sandia High School as he has already garnered 2nd Team All State WR, 1st Team All District WR and Free Safety, 1st Team All Metro (Albuquerque and surround areas) WR, and 3rd Team All Metro Safety.
Stay tuned to NMVarsity.com as we continue to follow Michael Scarlett's recruiting this spring and fall and talk about Michael Scarlett and all New Mexico athletes at our message board
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