It was a bit late in coming.
But James Caraway's film did the job.
"I procrastinated," he said last month about getting tape of his senior season out to interested Division I programs. "When they ask us for film, they mean it."
It cost him a few early offers, but once the tape became available, Wyoming was quick to see the upside of the 5-foot-11, 170-pound prospect. Running backs coach Bryan Applewhite visited Caraway last week and extended a scholarship to the Highland Park (Topeka, Kansas) senior.
"They saw the highlight tape and (Applewhite) was like, ‘Wow, that's real good,'" Caraway told CowboyBlitz.com this week. "And I guess he said the head coach saw it and was like, ‘That's nice, and we want him.'"
Caraway, who has been clocked at 4.35 seconds in the forty-yard dash, said it was his speed more than anything that impressed coaches.
"Speed kills," he said. "That's what they say, and obviously I'm using that to my advantage."
Caraway turned heads this summer when he ran a 4.38 forty at the Kansas City Scout.com Combine. Largely unknown prior to combine season, he was deemed one of the biggest surprises of the summer and an intriguing prospect at cornerback—a position he had never played before. On top of posting the lightning-fast forty time, he had the combine's top vertical jump at 38'8 and was named Defensive MVP of the event.
His high school coaches lined him up at cornerback for much of 2007, but it was as a running back that he did the most damage, averaging more than eight yards per carry and racking up more than 1,000 yards rushing and receiving.
He doesn't care what position he plays in college.
"It's whichever way I can get the ball in my hands," he said. "At first they (UW coaches) were like wide receiver, but now they want me to come in as a corner and kickoff return(er)."
Caraway's stock has been on the rise of late, but the tardiness of his film has made recruiting slower than he would have liked. To date, Wyoming is the only school to offer Caraway a scholarship, and contact with Colorado State—another program that had been showing interest during the season—fizzled out after the firing of head coach Sonny Lubick this offseason.
"I guess like all the coaches got fired, so I really don't know what's up with them," Caraway said of the Rams, "but I've been talking to (Kansas)."
The Jayhawks are still contemplating whether or not to offer the speedster, but Caraway said he may end up wanting to get out of the state anyway.
"A lot of athletes from my school, they stay around and they don't end up doing anything," he said, "so I was thinking maybe I need to get away and do something positive and play football at the same time. Also, Wyoming's a good school academically, and I feel like I could go up there and make a good impact."
He has an official visit to Laramie scheduled for Jan. 11 and lists Wyoming as his first choice "for right now." He said he is not likely to make any decisions until after seeing the campus, however.
To view Caraway's highlight film, go to http://youtube.com/watch?v=knkKHWLMgEQ.
If You Send it, Offers Will Come
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