September 18, 2020

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Diamond in the Rough: Kevin Carlton Jr.

Kevin Carlton Jr. is a starting wide receiver for Archbishop Hannon High school.  Coming into this year, Kevin has primarily played slot receiver and began playing a little bit at free safety last year.  Kevin is listed at 6’0’ 170 pounds, which is ideal size for a smaller receiver who plays between the hashes.  On tape he shows a precise route-running ability combined with a good bit of shiftiness in the open field. All though he is not the biggest player on the field, he often welcomes contact and fights for extra yardage consistently. His 40-time is not the most impressive attribute currently, but Kevin has an uncanny ability to create separation. Combine that ability with consistent hands and you have yourself a reliable target to throw to.

You primarily play receiver, but your Hudl says you play some safety. Will you still be going both ways?

Yes sir, as a matter of fact I will be playing a lot more defense and less offense this year.

Do you prefer playing on defense over offense?

No sir, I prefer playing on offense, but I’m doing what the team needs me to do.

How long have you been playing football?

I have been playing since I was five, about twelve years now.

What would you say is one of your biggest accomplishments so far, in regard to football?

When I was about eleven years old, I was able to be on a championship team. It was a really big deal because the previous two years we lost to the same team and we finally won it all. It just meant so much to me.

How was last season?

It was not a bad season; we had some ups and downs. We had a new schedule with a lot more powerhouse teams than some of the teams we previously played. We could have done better, but we were just kind of thrown into the fire playing against some of these bigger schools.

Is the schedule this year similar to last year’s?

Yes sir, it’s the same schedule.

What are some expectations you have for yourself and for the team as a whole?

For myself, I want to be the best player I possibly can for my team, and I want to be all-metro this year. As for the team, I want a state championship. That’s what we are grinding for.     

Are there any individual stats you are trying to chase?

No sir, not really. Just want to do my best.

Is there anyone you try to model your game after?

Stephon Diggs, I watch a lot of tape on him and try to mimic all of his moves.

Have you played outside receiver at all?

I did a little bit last year, but this year all receivers will be rotating and learning every spot. I’m ready for it, its going to be fun.

What is something you would like to improve on?

Definitely my speed. I’m not too slow, but I’m also not the fastest.  I don’t feel like you need insane speed, but speed will take you places.

What are some things you like to do in your free time?

I have my own videography brand that I started working on 2 years ago. I edit highlight videos for kids in my area for football and basketball. I even do it for people around the nation. That takes up a lot of my free time.

How often do you watch film?

At least five days a week. It’s a lot honestly. I am always watching either a receiver or safety to model after, watching my own film, or watching film from the teams on our schedule so I can learn their tendencies.

Do you play any other sports?

I play basketball and run track.

How have you been staying in shape?

I just run around the neighborhood and play basketball. Staying in basketball shape definitely helps me on the football field.

What do you love most about playing football?

The competitiveness, especially at the end of the game.

How do you get ready for a game?

I just relax and then go do warmups and get in my zone when we are getting ready to take the field.

How would you describe yourself as a player and a teammate?

I would describe myself as a high IQ player. I’m not the most athletic, but everything clicks in my head and that makes up for where I lack athletically. As a teammate I feel like I am a decent leader and I work well with the younger player.

How do you feel about playing with younger players in the rotation?

I don’t mind it at all. I have always played up in football and basketball and I believe the best players get to play, age shouldn’t matter.

What do you want to get out of playing football?

I really want a free education. Also, I just have a love for the game of football and even basketball, I love them equally. My love for the game pushes me to play hard. But I want that education to insure I have a nice life.

Do you plan on trying to play multiple sports at the next level?

I’m not sure about that. Probably not, just because of the time constraints. I don’t have time to be as good as I could be for one because I have to focus on both. Playing multiple sports can often help you, but it can also hurt you.

Any advice for younger players?

Be fearless, that is when you play your best. The guy across from you may underestimate you, but don’t let that get in your head. As long as you aren’t scared to go out there, you will be good.

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