Carta-Samuels on Carta-Samuels

EUGENE - Trent Dilfer was on hand Sunday at the Nike Football Training Camp to coach up some high school quarterbacks, and at the same time look at some prospects for his Elite 11 Camp coming up later this summer. The former Super Bowl winning quarterback wasn't just evaluating the next great crop of signal callers; he was looking at possible coaches too.

One of those looking for a spot on the Elite 11 coaching roster was Austyn Carta-Samuels, fresh off a stellar senior season at Vanderbilt.

"I want to get into coaching," Carta-Samuels said. "I'm working out here with Trent today. I'm going to learn as much as I can; that's what I want to do - I want to learn. I'm working the Vanderbilt camp next week, I'm a quarterbacks coach. At the Penn State camp the week after that as a quarterbacks coach…just doing what I need to do to take the next step of my life, but it's around football and changing young kids' lives. I'm super-excited to be out here and help these guys."

Carta-Samuels also happens to be the older brother of incoming freshman quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels. Austyn was nice enough to sit down for a few minutes before camp began to talk about his brother, his recruitment to Washington, and his evaluation of K.J.'s prospects as a Husky.
On K.J.'s de-commitment from Vanderbilt - "It was very heavily…I'll put it this way; I really enjoyed playing for coach (James) Franklin. Coach (Derek) Mason is going to be a great coach at Vanderbilt. My brother developed a relationship and committed as a sophomore to a situation he knew what it was going to be. That changed, unfortunately. So he had to reassess everything. When a coach leaves that late in the process it's tough for a recruit because they are put back to square one. For him he had to go with security and safety and he's excited to go to Washington.

"But you want to know why he's so excited? It's a great place, it's a great coach, it's near home, it's a good school. So he was very secure in this decision, as opposed to leaving home and going across the country."

How much did you guys communicate when it became clear K.J. was going to re-evaluate schools? - "Every day, all day. All the time."

There must have been a hefty cell phone bill. - "You know it. I tried to do as best I could. I want my brother to make his own decisions and not push him in any sort of direction. With that one I had to give him advice as a brother, not as a Vanderbilt football player or Vanderbilt quarterback. For me it was always about what was best for my brother, and Vanderbilt could have been incredible for K.J., but I just feel with his skill set and what he cares about, what's important to him - and the fact that he didn't get a chance to establish a relationship with coach Mason and that staff in such a short period of time - I think I'm really excited about his future."

How much did you learn about UW in the last stages of K.J.'s recruitment? - "I learned quite a bit. Washington kind of speaks for itself; great facilities, great area, it's in Seattle which is a progressive, up-and-coming city - especially with the Seahawks, a football city. For us it was very important for us to be on the same page as coach Pete, because my brother has great grades - he could get into any school in the country - he could have gone pretty much anywhere he wanted in the country. And to play for coach Petersen, somebody we really care about as a family, was really important to us."

How much of a decision was Washington once Vanderbilt was out of the equation? - "It was definitely a process. I think my brother deserves the world. I'm not just a brother that's blind to it; I think he's extremely talented. I don't think he's scratched the surface of where he could be. For him to be in the Elite 11 was pretty incredible already. I think he deserved every scholarship in the country. I think Washington fit him really well. Him and coach Pete just meshed very well, they were very compatible. I see that being a great fit and a great home for him, but I could have seen him at multiple schools around the country."

Put on your coach's hat and tell me about your brother's potential - "Absolutely. With my brother you're going to get a non-emotional person. My brother is very even-keeled, very competitive, but not a lot of highs and lows. A lot of coaches love that nowadays. I think my brother has everything you could ask for from a physical perspective. Mentally he's very capable; great grades. I think he'll get the offense very well. When looking at it for my brother, the biggest thing is the sky's the limit. He's going to work as hard as he can. For me, you always have room to improve. K.J., the only thing that's holding him back is that he hasn't really thrown the ball very much in high school. Other than that, he's got every running thing you could ask for, his height, his weight…he's about 6-3, 235 now. He's gained about 15 pounds. He's ready for college."

Given Petersen's two attributes for a QB - great decision-making and being an accurate passer - how does K.J. fit given those requirements? - "He fits in extremely well. They have a good group of quarterbacks up there, but I think with the way K.J. carries himself, the way he approaches the game, is very similar in style to the way coach Petersen approaches the game. For me, K.J. gets the ball out of his hands quick, quick release. He's extremely accurate, but he's also got that power behind it. I think the toughest thing for him will be getting acclimated to the offense, getting it up to speed as quickly as possible. But if you're asking me, I think he's got an extremely solid skill set for what coach Pete is looking for - and that's just consistency, a good kid, someone that's going to do the right things on and off the field - and that's my brother." (ED NOTE: Austyn Carta-Samuels went 193-281 as a senior, a 68.7 completion percentage, the highest at Vanderbilt for a single-season in over 50 years)

Any comparisons to K.J. with quarterbacks you've seen before, at any level? - "You know…Jake Locker is scratching the surface of what he can do in the NFL, so we'll see what he can do if he stays healthy. He's very similar physically to Jake Locker, he runs like Jake Locker, he's big like Jake Locker. What's interesting is that my brother just doesn't have a lot of experience throwing the ball, so it'll be fun to see him get plugged in there. I would say that Jake Locker…very muscular body type is the way my brother is."


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