The 6-3, 185-pound junior quarterback prospect, Rudy Carpenter, has had an interesting winter, transferring from his hometown school to a neighboring rival school. He also has some early favorites in his recruiting...
Rudy Carpenter, 6-3, 185, Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake, will be one of the top returning quarterbacks in the west next year.
And he now knows that he actually will return to play next year, since it was in doubt there for a while.
Carpenter grew up in Newbury Park, attended Newbury Park High School, and put up some big numbers as their quarterback as a junior last season. But Carpenter, who is also a good baseball pitcher, had a pretty severe falling out with Newbury Park's baseball coach. About a month ago, Carpenter chose to transfer to neighboring Westlake. His eligibility for baseball and football next was uncertain for a few weeks, but since Carpenter followed the rules of transfer, which included his family making a move almost literally down the street into Westlake, Carpenter is now eligible.
"I'm playing baseball right now," Carpenter said. "And I'm going to be eligible to play football next year."
The transition for him has been, well, interesting, he said. "It's tough. I grew up in Newbury Park and now I moved 10 minutes down the road and am now going to what was a rival school. I'm getting some heat from some people in Newbury Park. But my friends and the people who know me understand. I would have wanted to stay at Newbury Park but it was really impossible."
Carpenter said that the toughest transition has been the actual course load of Westlake. "At Newbury Park we were on a block schedule where we went year-round. I only had three classes. At Westlake, I now have six classes. So it's been tough to make the transition, but I'm getting used to it."
What's also made it easy on him is he had a good friend join him in the move. Junior offensive lineman Ryan Sorensen, 6-4, 310, also transferred from Newbury Park to Westlake. "He came from Newbury Park with me. His family was moving to Westlake anyway, so it was where he should have gone. He could have stayed at Newbury Park but it would have been harder. So, when he knew I was transferring, he decided that it was a good time for him to transfer, too."
With Carpenter and Sorensen added to Westlake's roster, the Warriors have the makings of a powerhouse next year. They already have three clear Division-1 prospects in defensive end Jimmy Miller, defensive end/tight end Michael Stewart and linebacker Greg Newman. "We should be really good," Carpenter said.
Carpenter was pretty good himself as a junior, throwing for 3,132 yards and 31 touchdowns. He said his best trait is his mobility and being able to throw on the move. He did have 19 interceptions and said, "That's what I have to work on, cutting down on my interceptions."
When it comes to recruiting, Carpenter is getting inundated with mail, which is the extent of the contact that college programs can have with a junior recruit at this time. But he said he has an early top five. "It's USC, Colorado, LSU, Oregon, and UCLA. Michigan in there somewhere, too, probably."
When asked if he had a clear leader, Carpenter said, "UCLA was always my favorite growing up, but lately it's USC. I went to the game when they played Auburn and it was cool. And they had a very good year. I think my dad wants me to go to USC, too."
In regards to UCLA, Carpenter said the coaching change affected his opinion. "UCLA has always been on me. They've sent me a lot of letters. But after the coaching change, I don't know. I had gotten to know coach [John] Pearce and coach [Ron] Caragher. When I went to UCLA's one-day camp last year, it was great. Pearce really showed a lot of interest in me and took me aside and worked with me. But he left, and so did Caragher. I don't really know the new coaching staff, but really