Valley Preps

Central RB Jaxton Carson’s pursuit of collegiate opportunity gets boost from all-star game experience

Central running back Jaxton Carson, No. 1, takes a carry in the Alabama-Mississippi 30th Annual All-Star Game at Cramton Bowl Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016.
Central running back Jaxton Carson, No. 1, takes a carry in the Alabama-Mississippi 30th Annual All-Star Game at Cramton Bowl Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Central running back Jaxton Carson’s light workload didn’t diminish the benefits of spending the week playing alongside and against some of the best players in the South.

Carson carried the ball three times for 9 yards in Alabama’s 25-14 win over Mississippi Saturday in the 30th annual all-star game between the states.

The senior’s most notable contribution was a short first down run in the second quarter to help set up a 38-yard field goal.

Alabama had little overall success running the ball Saturday afternoon averaging only 2.6 yards per carry.

Carson’s limited opportunities were the result of coaches having to split up carries between four running backs along with mobile quarterback Bubba Thompson. Alabama’s quarterbacks accounted for nearly a third of the team’s carries.

Central’s starting back didn’t come away with a standout highlight from the game, but the experience give Carson a boost on the recruiting trail.

Collegiate scouts visited Alabama’s week full of practices at Huntingdon College eager to find pieces they can add to their 2017 signing class.

“To showcase your talents against the best players not only in this state but the state of Mississippi is nothing but a positive and a plus,” Central coach Jamey DuBose said.

According to 247 Sports, Carson has 15 scholarships including ones from Arkansas St., Georgia State, Cincinnati, Troy and Western Kentucky.

DuBose predicts Carson’s recruitment process could last all the way until signing day. The running back is likely to pick up more offers as top tier recruits make their decisions.

College coaches seeking talented players to fill out their signing class will turn to talented players like Carson who are still undecided.

“Schools in the AAC have garnered the most of his attention, but there’s a lot of things this time of year with colleges waiting to see what offers are going to commit,” DuBose said. “There’s still chance to get offers to a lot of schools. I had a player one year get an offer to two SEC schools the day before signing day and they had not even talked to them all through the recruiting process.”

DuBose acknowledges the obvious concerns over Carson’s height — at 5-foot-8 he was the shortest of the 80 players on both rosters — and breakaway speed, but downplays the negatives on the senior’s scouting report.

Carson’s stellar resume shows the running back is ready for the next level. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in two of his three seasons on varsity with 1,421 yards (8.16 yards per carry) and 22 touchdowns as a senior.

“He’s done everything he could do,” DuBose said. “He had a successful three-year career and now made it to the pinnacle of high school football in our state.”

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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