What Are The Cowboys Getting In Carr?

It sounds stupid but I keep singing to myself the old Beatles song lyrics, "Baby, you can drive me Carr, yes, you're going to be a star." After several weeks and an exhausting search, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, his coaching staff and recruiting support staff have a high school running back to add to the Cowboys recruiting class in standout Jeff Carr of Temple, Texas.

Okay, here is the negative and we will get it out of the way. Carr is small. How small? He says he is right between 5-7 or 5-8. That would make sense because on this season's All-District 17-5A release he is the district's overall Most Valuable Player and next to that title he is listed at 5-7, 170 pounds. Then later on the release he is listed as a first-team All-District running back and there he is listed at 5-8, 170 pounds. I would suggest that you split the difference.

By the way, I wrote in Saturday night's commitment story after interviewing Carr during the first half of the Bedlam basketball game that his size was comparable to previous Cowboy running backs Barry Sanders and Kendall Hunter. I wasn't exactly right, but close. Closer with Kendall Hunter, who was listed at 5-8, 180 pounds in the signing day release of 2006. Sanders was listed at 5-8 and 195 pounds in the first roster of 1986.

The other negative is that Carr wasn't actively being pursued by any other Division I schools. We find this somewhat amazing in that his numbers are huge. Actually, it took us some time to research and make sure we have his statistics correct as they were split in one reputable service, but we used another to come up with what we believe adds up as the definitive numbers.

As a senior, he carried 224 times for 2,147 yards and a 10.1-yards per carry average with 18 rushing touchdowns and one kickoff return against Waco High for 100 yards and a touchdown. In his career, he rushed for 3,780 yards and a total of 38 touchdowns.

Those are fabulous numbers and with legit speed at sub 4.5, but teams apparently couldn't get past the size issue. His head coach Mike Spradlin loves him and raves about him.

Okay, now for the positives. The numbers are huge and this past season in winning his district's overall MVP award he led Temple to the Class 5A state championship game where they lost to Aledo 49-45. They finished the season 13-2 and 6-0 in a very tough District 17-5A.

Carr rushed for over 200 yards in two games and was only under 100 yards in three of the 15 games all season. He danced each dance and carried 224 times with another 14 receptions and six kickoff returns.

When you watch him, and I refreshed myself this morning with watching a couple of whole games, you see the speed. He breaks into the open and it is virtually bye-bye as he doesn't get caught from behind or across field unless a very exacting pursuit angle is mapped and taken.

Wearing the Temple trademark blue front and white back two-tone pants (Lawton in Oklahoma uses the red front, white back pants), Carr just flat runs off from so many defenders. He is also able to make space for himself with his array of moves. Many of his moves are the more casual just shake of the hip or sidestep as he goes by a defender.

What impressed me most in his running is his patience and vision. There are a number of plays that he delays getting to the point of attack to allow a blocker to take advantage of a position or he will delay downfield.

A good example of that quality came in the playoff win over A&M Consolidated at Texas State's stadium as he waits near the sideline for a block to be completed and then steps just outside the teammate and the defender he is engaged with and goes on in for the touchdown.

He is also a blocker as he lined up a lot in 20 and 21 personnel, providing either a block for teammate and power back Marques Hatcher or for mobile quarterback Chad President, who is signing on Wednesday with Tulsa. He is not a one trick back as he displays a pretty good all-around game.

I think the biggest step in his development and the deciding factor in how quickly he can becomes a factor and contributes at the running back position will be his progress in the weight room and putting on a good 15 to 20 pounds to make him more equipped to deal physically with the Big 12 and Division I FBS level. Watch the tape for yourself, but if you can get ahold of an entire game versus highlights then that will give you a better idea.

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