Keldrick Carper plans to use the spring as a measuring stick for his recruitment.
Over the next few weeks, dozens of college coaches are expected in Plain Dealing, La., for a look at the four-star athlete. Carper will be taking mental notes on the programs to come through and will use that when it comes time to make an official top five.
Two programs — Georgia and Notre Dame — are already in a good position to make that list. E Earlier this spring Carper listed that pair as his top two.
“At that point I would say they were showing me the most love,” Carper said. “I’d say they were sticking out to me. I wouldn’t consider them my top two. I’m going to be probably making a top five most likely after spring is over with. That’s why I want to see what schools are coming down for spring. That’s how I’m gonna determine my top five, just see who all is serious about me. Those two, they’re safe.”
Kansas, LSU and Texas A&M are among the programs that have already stopped at Plain Dealing High School as part of the spring evaluation period.
Carper is expecting USC, Miami, Texas A&M and Notre Dame as well. LSU, which hasn’t yet offered a scholarship, will likely make a return trip too.
Irish defensive backs coach Todd Lyght acts as both area recruiter and potential position coach for Carper, who plays wide receiver and defensive back in high school. Notre Dame sees the 6-foot-3, 185-pound prospect as either a cornerback or free safety.
“Him just telling me the impact I can make coming there and getting a chance to play,” Carper said. “That’s the main thing. And who else to learn from than Todd Lyght? I mean, the guy went (No. 5) overall in the first round. He was an All-American in college. The guy knows what he’s talking about with coach DBs and everything.
“He knows the ropes. He tells me, ‘Hey, I’ve been through this process. I know you guys feel and what you’re going through.’ He tells me Notre Dame is the spot to be.”
Georgia has made its pitch to Carper as well, emphasizing the opportunity to build something special under a new coaching staff.
“Hop on the train,” Carper said. “They’re on the road, they have a good recruiting class building up. Just join the program that can be the turning point of the university as far as football goes. I don’t know the last time they won a national championship. But just start a legacy, that’s been their sales pitch toward me.”
Sorting through the list of remaining options to formulate a top five will be no simple task.
Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Miami, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech are among the other scholarship offers available.
Carper will enroll early at the program of his choice, meaning he has to get moving faster than some of his peers in the decision-making process.
“It’s not a sense of urgency because I still have a lot of time,” Carper said. “But it lets me know that I’ve got to make my decision a little quicker than everybody else. It just keeps me alert and lets me know time is almost up. Start checking this off here and doing this here. It keeps me alert.”
Offseason visits are something Carper wants to use to help him toward that end, although there’s nothing set just yet. Carper plans to put something together after spring ball ends.
“I don’t know yet,” he said. “I’ll be able to answer that probably after school’s over. I’ll look at my schedule — my basketball schedule, football practice, 7-on-7. I’ll look into that and then work my visits around it.”