While Idaho is not a commonly regarded hotbed of Division I recruiting, the Gem State has provided a handful of prep All-Americans for The Farm in recent years. Linebacker Justin Strand, defensive end Austin Lee and wide receiver Caleb Bowman all made headlines when they signed with Stanford Football. From Strand's hometown of Coeur d'Alene we find one of the Cardinal's early offensive line offers in the 2007 recruiting class: Lake City High School standout tackle Carson York.
The 6'4.5" 276-pounder earned All-League and All-Northern Idaho honors as a junior, playing right tackle for the Timberwolves. It was a banner year for Lake City, who finished 9-2 on the season and finished third in the state. York and the Timberwolves lost their only two games to Meridian High School, who won the state title. Lake City in 2005 set school records with averages of 450 yards total offense, 320 yards rushing and 36 points per game. The Timberwolves' quarterback and running back both averaged better than nine yards per carry. On film, college coaches have seen that York was the man most responsible for that awesome offensive production.
"Pass blocking is the best part of my game," says the Idaho junior. "I run block fine, but I think that pass blocking is my strength. Most guys get scared when a pass play gets called. For me, it's a rush."
"The thing that sets me apart from other linemen is how I move my feet," York describes. "And for a big guy, how I control my body."
York carries his 276 pounds easily, and he is still a growing boy. Not yet 17 until this summer, the Coeur d'Alene native is projected to grow to 6'6". Just as impressive as his physical abilities is his understanding of the game. York is enthralled by the game within the game, when he battles against a defensive end. And he is fast running out of challenges at the high school level.
"Most defensive linemen, you can tell what they are going to do by their stance and how they set their feet," he explains. "It has also helped me to go up against great defensive linemen in practice. We had an All-State defensive end, and another who was All-League and should have been All-State. After going against those guys every day in practice, games are easy."
York never gave up a sack to his assigned blocker through 11 games in 2005. He is ready for the next challenge.
"I'm looking forward to college, so that I can practice against the best defensive ends and play against the best on Saturdays," he says. "When Washington State offered me in February, I was blown away. I didn't expect them to offer so early, and I certainly didn't expect six by now. I'm ecstatic with my offers right now. These are some schools I dreamed about. And it gets me excited for the chance I am going to have in a year."
In addition to the Cougars, York has been offered by Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and Idaho. Though there is a distinct Northwest flavor to his offer sheet, the Gem State standout has ties and plenty of excitement for the Cardinal.
"I have a lot of family in the Bay Area. My mom grew up outside Santa Rosa, and my dad lived outside San Francisco," York offers. "I've heard so much about how amazing the campus is at Stanford, and I would like to see it."
"The kids at my school are all obsessed beyond comprehension. Stanford has been their dream school since they knew what it was. The valedictorian at my school really wants to go there," he adds. "They all told me it was a no-brainer as soon as Stanford offered me."
While York is not ranked #1 in his class at Lake City, he is not far behind. He currently carries a 3.92 GPA with honors and AP classes. York not only took AP classes as a sophomore, but he scored a 5 and a 4 in the two AP tests. He is currently taking another three AP courses as a junior. He reports that his PSAT score ranked in the top 12% of the country, and he took the SAT for the first time on April 1.
As for favorites, York either does not know or will not yet say. He is, however, putting forth a concerted effort to see the schools who have offered him.
"If I had to make a decision right now, I couldn't," he maintains. "I've already been to Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State. But Washington was for a Junior Day, so I'd like to go back when I could see some things better."
"I would like to get down to Stanford, but I have track on the weekends which makes it tough," York recently told us.
If there was any question of his sincerity toward Stanford, this past weekend erased all that. York spent at least three days on The Farm that we saw. He and his parents were in attendance at Stanford's first three spring practices - Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We will speak to him soon to learn how the visit impacted him, and how it stacked up to his experiences at the four Pac-10 competitors to the north, but traveling 800 miles and spending three days speaks loudly to the interest of the recruit and his family in The Farm.
Already armed with offers from his self-professed "dream" schools, the next question turns to timing for Carson York. The fleet-footed offensive tackle is in no hurry, but also has no interest in prolonging the process beyond reason.
"I could decide in the summer, if I don't take my official visits," he opines. "If I have enough information and I'm ready, then I will make my decision. I'm not going to string it out just to take visits."
Stay tuned to The Bootleg for more on Carson York. We will be checking in with him soon to download his report on his unofficial visit to Stanford, as well as his updated view of his college favorites and decision timeline.
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