A Touch of the Divine in the Form of a High School Quarterback – The Bolles School’s Chandler Carr

22 04 2009

A PRISM contribution; written by Jason Roberts

Chandler Carr

Those that say chivalry is dead haven’t met Chandler Carr, junior at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida.

As much a Southern gentleman as one might find living in the twenty-first century — he answers questions with a very respectful “yes, sir” or “no, sir,” is an avid fan of country music, and is, unlike his two oldest siblings, a true fan of the Florida Gators — Chandler exemplifies the romanticism of the Old South, and is mindful — almost to a fault — of a proud Christian family tradition of humility and helping others.

One gets the sense in talking to the Carr family that if, given the proper opportunity, Chandler might very well end up a prominent force in a local St. John’s County Baptist congregation — perhaps someone heading up the church’s benevolence fund, becoming intimately involved in ministering to middle and high school youth, or leading fellow Christian followers on missionary trips abroad.  Christ, after all, rings true in all that the Carr family represents; and the youngest child of a blended family comprised of three other older half-brothers, Chandler is very much the sheep the fold doesn’t expect to stray far from the flock.

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Elite 11 Quarterback Camp – Ft. Worth, Texas

15 04 2009

A freelantz contribution; written by Jessica Lantz

Published by Athlon Sports on April 15, 2009

9351_groupApproximately 75 of the region’s best young quarterbacks, along with their families, coaches and other supporters arrived on the TCU campus on April 4 to show off their skills at the Fort Worth EA Sports Elite 11 Regional Quarterback Camp. Each player arrived on the 82 degree spring day with a sparkle in their eye, a spring in their step and a football in hand in the hopes of impressing the camp’s staff members, media and spectators, and-of course-their fellow participants.

Some participants were seen early on heading to the TCU Horned Frogs’ Amon G. Carter Stadium before heading over to the practice field, perhaps to envision themselves as the starting quarterback for a Top-25 program. Yet, after arriving at their final destination — the TCU practice facilities — and checking in with the staff awaiting their arrival, it was time to get to work with warm-ups and instructions and then by breaking off into small groups. Then, everyone moved through various indoor and outdoor stations to show off their skill sets and receive constructive criticism from the staffers. The drills had the athlete work on speed, agility, decision-making, route running, listening to instructions, accuracy and strength of body, arm and mind. All of which took place at a fast and rotating pace, ensuring that everyone was alert, attentive and at their best for the duration of the two-hour workout.

Although the pace was furious, the prep stars excelled in these drills, with few faltering and all giving 100 percent effort throughout the exhausting day. And even when shortcomings and opportunities for improvement were pointed out to the athletes, the spoken words of advice were taken to heart not only to improve and impress, but also to convert the dream of playing collegiate football into a reality.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the standouts on the day:

Trae Davis, the gunslinger for Mexia H.S. took the honors of winning the Golden Gun Accuracy Award at the camp. The award was given after the entire field of competitors was narrowed down to the five most accurate performers on the day. These young men then faced off head-to-head to see who could end the day hitting their stationary targets. After participating in the challenge and being required to take it to a ‘throw-off’, Davis actually stuck a ball into the final target, securing his victory and bringing aahhs to the crowd. Davis threw for 1,801 yards and 17 touchdowns in his junior season for the Black Cats. Read the rest of this entry »

Elite 11 Quarterback Camp – Ft. Worth, Texas – Photo Journal P

15 04 2009

A freelantz submission; All photographs property of PRISM/freelantz
Photos may not be used without permission

Sampling of photographic work from Elite 11 Camp on April 4, 2009.


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New Dog, Old Tricks – USC and the “Silent” Verbal Commitment

10 04 2009

A PRISM contribution; written by Jason Roberts

University of Southern California head coach Pete Carroll has come up with a unique, yet simple way to counter moves by other programs like UCLA, Arizona State, and Notre Dame, who, in the past, heavily targeted recruits that announced early commitments to the Trojans football program.

uscRather than immediately announcing a decision to verbally commit to USC, Carroll is apparently instructing many of his high-caliber recruits to “remain silent for awhile,” such that the Trojans’ recruiting efforts are allowed to continue without harassment while other programs — this year, for instance, the Texas Longhorns, Alabama Crimson Tide, Florida, Louisiana State, and Michigan — vie for the national spotlight with what Matt Hinton describes as “unprecedented early efforts” in snatching up a large number of verbal commitments.

The move toward keeping quiet, Hinton writes in an article for Yahoo! Sports, isn’t exactly a new ploy; Florida State, he notes, for instance, was well-known for utilizing a similar approach in the nineties in which early year disappointments in landing highly-touted players generally ended up yielding a “top of the rankings” class on National Signing Day.

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Left Feeling Empty by a “Full” Athletic Scholarship . . .

29 03 2009

A PRISM contribution; written by Jason Roberts

The National College Players Association (NCPA) late last week released the results of a study it conducted recently which suggests that there continues to grow, as FoxBusiness.com writes, an “estimated shortfall between college athletes’ full scholarships and the actual cost of attendance at each Division I university.”

National College Players Association

In revealing such a shortfall, the NCPA maintains that universities at the Division I level have, for the most part, acted to deceive recruits into “being responsible for paying thousands of dollars” despite awarding such students what is more commonly referred to as a “full” athletic scholarships to attend college.

United Steelworkers International President, Leo W. Gerard, agrees, commenting on the subject, “The fact is, coaches fill high school recruits’ heads with promises of free rides and full scholarships, when in fact no such things exist. The NCAA designs full scholarships to fall short of the advertised price tag of a school, leaving recruits scrambling to make ends meet.” Gerard maintains these supposed full scholarship offers are made despite the fact that the NCAA actually prohibits any university from providing athletic scholarships that equal the cost of attendance.

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Laurie Richter and the Art of College Recruitment

29 03 2009

A PRISM contribution; written by Jason Roberts

Speaking to Laurie Richter, you find out almost immediately that she didn’t intend on coming into her role as an expert on the recruiting process for student-athletes coming out of high school and hoping to play sports at the collegiate level; instead, it, more than anything, came onto her.

Richter, after all, spent much of her life pursuing one of two things: first, advancing her education, where she finished a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland in 1978 and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin; and second, following a career-path, which almost incidentally landed her a job in market research with the Quaker Oats Company, and ultimately ended up with her opening her own agency, Consumer Voice.

But then there was her son, Dylan, a bright-eyed, enthusiastic kid that performed well in the classroom, but was equally as productive on the basketball court — good enough, in fact to make the Adlai E. Stevenson High School (Lincolnshire, Illinois) varsity basketball team as a 6’3″ small forward, where, by the time he was a junior and senior, he’d proven himself a highly sought-after Division III recruit.

The one thing that Dylan was not fully prepared for, however, was the intensity of the recruiting process. He had more than enough to focus on, being both a successful student and athlete.

So Richter, being the supportive mother she’s always been — rarely did a game go by when she couldn’t be found somewhere dotting the stands of her son’s basketball games — did what most parents in a similar position could or would not do — stepped away from her own business and set out determined to understand just how to successfully navigate the muddy waters of college recruitment.

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Elite 11 Regional Quarterback Camp – Orlando, Florida

8 03 2009

A PRISM contribution; written by Jason Roberts, with all photos original works by the author


The 60+ young men who arrived at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning, March 1st, expected to be greeted with warm sunshine, excellent field conditions, and the opportunity to further their skills in an attempt to become regarded as one of the next highly-touted quarterback prospects to be recruited by a prominent NCAA program coming out of high school.

Within moments after stepping out onto the grounds, however, it quickly became apparent that only the latter would end up being the case – for once those participating in the first EA Sports Elite 11 Regional Quarterback Camp for 2009 hit the field, they were met with unseasonal low temperatures, gusty winds, and, on more than one occasion, a passing cloud burst.

That high school quarterbacks from throughout the state of Florida and beyond would end up damp and shivering before noon was a foregone conclusion, even before the first horn signaling the start of the camp was ever blown.  Yet, such physical setbacks would ultimately be fought through, as even the elements which sent parents and press scattering in all directions to find cover couldn’t deflate the spirits of those who came to learn from some of the best talent in football today, including former University of Florida quarterback Chris Leak and current back up to Tim Tebow in Gainesville, John Brantley.  Feet might slip on the grass, grips might fail to maintain control of the ball, and winds made accuracy futile; still, these young men came to learn and show what they were made of, and nothing – even some bad weather – was going to prevent them from doing so.

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