Questions abound at High School programs. Many kids and fans and parents are focused on gaining bragging rights for their team by way of where the teams top recruits are going to college.
Call it D-1 Fever if you will but it all becomes a little too much and a distraction for all of us at some point. Trying to "Keep It Real" as they say is not easy.
Especially at a place like Bellevue High School.
We have written about many of the Bellevue kids and one thing comes through all the way down the line. From 20 offer phenom Myles Jack, 2014's #1 recruit in Budda Baker, or a hard charging guy like Ari Morales still working and waiting for his first offer. The kids are all comfortable in their own skins and are not sweating recruitment.
You want to know the secret of Bellevue's success? They are in many ways the most relaxed group of guys I have met. Intense? Yes. Focused? More then any I have seen. But because of a Coaching staff who they trust with the present and the future they get to be kids and play ball. That is pretty rare.
Michael Carlson is a perfect example of that. He should have been a consensus First Team guy last season as one of the most outstanding Defensive Backs we saw all year. But no mention for him at seasons end.
"That was not a big deal. I focus on the team and making myself better. Coach Butch (Goncharoff) has taken care of me for the future and has done a good job helping get the word out," said Carlson by phone tonight.
The 6'2" Safety from 2011's Championship Team is now bigger and faster. He just weighed in at 208 pounds and has been advised he will be moving up to the Outside Linebacker spot.
"That is great. A new role for me this year is fine. That is probably where I will play in college so this is a great fit," he added. "I am really excited about it."
Last season Carlson impressed analysts and fans alike with his grinding workmanlike play. He rarely misses a tackle, is tough nosed, and quick to the ball.
We asked Mike to rate himself as a player and where he felt he shines and where he can get better on the field.
"Fundamentals, Physicality, and Intensity. I don't miss tackles and I will not allow myself to be pushed around. Those are strengths I bring," he said. "As far as where I can improve it would be speed and quickness. That and I plan to be 215 this season when the game comes against Trinity."
Speaking of the big game August 30th Michael feels the Wolverines will be ready.
"This week we head out on a Team Camp. We go all by ourselves for 4 days. There will be like 12 practices and some great bonding time as a team. I feel the way we are working that we are going to be ready for Trinity and looking good this season."
Trinity, the Texas team of Legend, is coming to Seattle Memorial and so are their fans.
"They requested 5,000 tickets be sent to Texas for their fans and players. That will be something to see if that many fans travel. It is going to be a game to remember."
Now we will allow ourselves to talk college and Michaels future. After all this 3.5 plus student with a 30 on his ACT is not planning to hang up the cleats after this season.
Through his Coaches connections were made with Montana and Montana State. Both schools have offered Carlson. And others are closing in including a long list of D1-AA, Academics, and Pac 12 schools.
"Those are great schools that offered me and I am honored. As far as other schools it feels like Nevada and maybe OSU are close to doing something. But really that is all going to have to wait until the season is over. Right now I am 100% into beating Trinity and being a leader for the team.
Carlson says he is not going to give preference to the level of college that offers but rather will look at the fit. It has to be like a Family or he is not going to commit. Something he has learned at Bellevue.
And he wants to go where he can contribute early.
"This is going to be my 3rd year as a starter. And I do not like being off the field. So if I can play early somewhere that is going to be more important then saying I am D-1 over D-1AA. So that will be one thing to consider."
If your at a D1 Program as a Coach or recruiter your not going to want to miss this guy. He is quiet, reserved, intense, and he gets it done. Expect him to be in the mix every time he is on the field. His film and the pics we shot last season tell the story of a guy who wants to be a stopper and in on every play. And there is no doubt he can play at any level.
We wish Michael Carlson great things and a smooth transition in his new position with the team as well as in the preparation it is going to take to get ready for a team like Trinity! You know where we will be when the lights go on for that one!