Carson seeks national title in two sports
The following interview with 2011 running back signee Shon Carson took place before he enrolled at South Carolina for the Summer II session:
Scout.com 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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