Carson seeks national title in two sports

In the latest installment of GamecockAnthem's can't-miss series with South Carolina's 2011 signees, Anthem talks one-on-one with two sport standout Shon Carson, who plans to play both football and baseball at USC. Read inside as Anthem goes in-depth with the multi-talented athlete on a variety of intriguing topics, including his desire to win national championships in both sports at Carolina.

The following interview with 2011 running back signee Shon Carson took place before he enrolled at South Carolina for the Summer II session: profile: Shon Carson

Question: Do you plan to play both football and baseball at South Carolina?

Carson: Yes, sir. I do.

Question: The USC baseball program is coming off of a second consecutive national championship, with an impressive run through the College World Series last month. What were your impressions when watching them win the back to back titles?

Carson: They kept their class the whole time. They didn't get a big head or anything. They just played baseball like they usually play, and they found ways to win.

Question: What positions do you play in baseball?

Carson: I can play shortstop, second base, and center field.

Question: How would you describe yourself as a baseball player?

Carson: I'm a game changer when I get on the base paths. I'm a speedy guy. I can cover a lot of ground defensively. I'm a disciplined hitter, I wait for my pitch.

Question: Now switching gears to football, what are your goals for your first year at South Carolina on the gridiron?

Carson: My goal is to take some of the pressure off Marcus Lattimore and help the team win.

Question: For those that haven't seen you play much on the football field, how would you describe yourself as a running back out there?

Carson: I have speed, power, and I can catch out of the backfield. I can line up at slot receiver too.

Question: You mentioned that speed is one of your biggest strengths on the field. What is the fastest time you've recorded in the forty yard dash?

Carson: I ran a 4.3 at the Under Armour combine.

Question: What areas would you like to improve in as a football player as you transition to the college level?

Carson: Probably blocking a little bit better.

Question: What is your accurate height and weight these days?

Carson: I'm 5-10 and 200 pounds.

Question: When did you first start playing football, and when exactly did you realize that you wanted to pursue a future in football?

Carson: I started playing at like six, and my first middle school game in seventh grade is when I knew.

Question: Gearing up for the jump to the college level, what has a typical day consisted of for you workout-wise?

Carson: I've been working out everyday and running around the track. I bench everyday, as well squat and power clean.

Question: What are South Carolina's coaches telling you about the opportunity to come in and contribute early on the football field?

Carson: They're saying if I come in and work hard, I'll have a strong chance to get a lot of playing time.

Question: Looking back on the recruiting process, many recruits have said going through that process is a once in a lifetime experience. Now that you've gone through it, what would you say really stands out to you about your recruitment as such a highly recruited prospect in both sports?

Carson: It was a great thing. I got my first offer (from Clemson) in the seventh grade for both sports, and it just kept growing from there. It took a lot of hard work to get to that point, and it all paid off.

Question: You ultimately ended up signing with South Carolina, but what were the other main schools that you were focused on down the stretch of your recruitment?

Carson: Alabama, Florida State, Auburn, North Carolina, and Georgia.

Question: What made the difference for you when deciding to sign with South Carolina?

Carson: Their baseball program was the difference. Their baseball program is better than everybody else, and I wanted to play both sports in college. A lot of schools told me I could've played both (football and baseball), but their baseball team wasn't the standard like South Carolina's.

Question: Did you get to know many of the other Gamecock football signees pretty well through the recruiting process?

Carson: Yes, sir. I'm close with (Jadeveon) Clowney, the Dixon brothers, and Ronnie Martin from Spartanburg. We all played together at the Shrine Bowl, and Clowney was my roommate there.

Question: You know Jadeveon Clowney a lot better than most people. Is it exciting for you to know that he will be joining you at South Carolina this summer?

Carson: It's gonna be a great thing to play with him. Once you get to know him, not just in sports, he's not a guy who's got the big head because he was ranked number one in the nation. He acts just like everybody else.

Question: Can you talk about the relationship you've built with your USC recruiters in both football and baseball?

Carson: I have a good relationship with Coach (Brad) Lawing. He's real cool. I also have a really good relationship with (Coach Chad Holbrook and Coach Ray Tanner).

Question: There's a strong feeling down in South Carolina that the Gamecocks are on the verge of competing for the school's first ever SEC Championship in football and possibly even a national championship. How exciting is it for you to be joining the USC program now and to have the chance to do something that has never been done before?

Carson: I think it'll be a great thing to be a part of that. I'm coming to the right school at the right time.

Question: Is there a certain game on USC's 2011 football schedule that you look at and say, I can't wait to play against those guys?

Carson: Florida. A lot of my teammates from my high school like Florida, so I want to beat them.

Question: Growing up in the Palmetto State, are you looking forward to taking part in the in-state rivalry between South Carolina and Clemson?

Carson: Yes, sir. I'm looking forward to that. One of my former teammates, Scotty Cooper, went to Clemson, and now he's a (student) coach there. I'd like to beat him.

Question: What jersey number will you be wearing at USC?

Carson: I think #6 or #7, probably.

Question: Do you have any message that you'd like to pass on to Gamecock fans before you officially arrive on campus?

Carson: Tell them I'm coming in to help both teams win a national championship.

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