Though the Long County football team didn’t have the success that was expected in 2015, what the school did do was showcase the talent of several players.
One of them was junior defensive back Tariq Carpenter. According to MaxPreps, as a safety, Carpenter was second on the team in tackles, having 64 in 10 games.
According to 247Sports, Carpenter has received offers from Central Florida, Massachusetts, Memphis State, North Carolina State, Tulane, Mercer, Liberty, Middle Tennessee State, Samford, Georgia State, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech.
The three-star recruit says he is leaning to Orlando-based Central Florida. He is ranked as the 42nd best safety in the nation for the 2017 graduating class. After careful consideration on April 2, Carpenter committed to play for Central Florida.
“It’s been a dream come true,” Carpenter said. “All my life, I dreamed of going on to play college ball, since I was 6 years old.”
Carpenter said all of the colleges he considered had much to offer, but that the Knights program just felt right.
“It’s a great place, right in the heart of Orlando, with a lot of great opportunities,” he said. “They have a whole new coaching staff and they’re building something special with the team. And I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
LCHS coach Eric McNair said Carpenter is a special player who has a lot to offer any college football program.
“Tariq is a hard-nosed hitter, an explosive athlete and his height makes it tough on quarterbacks to complete deep balls,” the coach said. “He’s a hard worker, and a fierce hitter that truly enjoys every aspect of football including practice.”
McNair said Carpenter is a coach’s dream, but that the rising senior can still improve in trusting his reads and perfecting his technique in the defensive secondary.
Last year, Long County had a 3-7 overall record, so there is much to improve for the upcoming season. Carpenter has one more year with the Blue Tide, and he said he hopes to help the team have its greatest year ever.
“My main goal is to lead the Long County High School football team to their first ever playoff appearance in school history, and its first championship as well,” Carpenter said. “We’re going make it happen.”
Carpenter made it clear that football is a big part of his life. He said the community can look forward to a good season for the Blue Tide.
“The thing I love most about football is being able to compete against players from other schools and being physical,” the senior said. “Growing up, I was always too rough, so football was made for me. Ludowici, be ready, we about to wake up the city.”