Purdue's 2009 Recruiting class got a little bit larger yesterday with the addition of JuCo transfer Keith Carlos. Carlos is originally from Bridgeport, CT, but has played the last two seasons at Lackawanna College in Scranton, PA. Since the opportunity to join the staff at Dunder MIfflin didn't come through he is taking his act to West Lafayette
Keith Carlos in traditional certifiable badass pose
This could be a very good pickup for us. If the article is to be beleived, this is another speedy guy that will help our receivers stretch the field. At 6'1" 203 he has some decent size as well. In just looking at his picture he has some strength and looks like he has put in some time in the weight room. Those interested in highlights can find them here. Here are some more highlights courtesy of youtube.
I like that he has a nose for the end zone with 26 touchdowns in two seasons. Yes, it was against lesser competition than he will see in the Big Ten, but touchdowns are still touchdowns. We could also see him out fo the backfield if the GBI article on his recruitment is to be believed. Sources from his home town also credit him as being a hardworker and a solid student after going the JuCo route.
I hung around the GBI forums yesterday and those that have seen him raved about his ability to block downfield. That has been a point of contention for our receivers for some time now (save Jake Standford). I like this for two reasons: 1. if he blocks down field we certainly need it, and 2. Hopefully this attitude will spread to our other receivers.
Going the JuCo route with a guy is always a toss up. Just look at our two JuCo receivers from last year. Aaron Valentin emerged as one of our top receiving options and has a bright future, while Arsenio Curry couldn't catch the clap from a cheap hooker and has now been kicked off the team for disciplinary reasons. I look for Carlos to contribute at least as much as Valentin and he could be a player that has an immediate impact on this team.
I don't think this is a trend that we are totally going this way because he is so far the only JuCo guy in this class. We relied on JuCos a little too much a few years ago, but I have no problem with getting one or two guys as long as they are ready to contribute and get the job done in the classroom. Getting guys straight from high school will always be the way to build a program, but there is no shame in supplementing them with 1 or 2 guys from junior colleges. Remember, we still have Jordan Brewer coming next year.
This college in particular has some decent history with Minnesota Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie being an alum. McKinnie was a mainstay on Miami's 2001 national championship team. Last season, Lackawanna was 7-3 and Carlos was #2 in the conference for kick return average. He finished 4th in the conference in all-purpose yards with 907, average more than 100 per game. In a run-oriented offense he had 24 catches for 465 yards and 4 TD's. He also had 142 yards rushing with a score.
Keith, welcome to the Boilermaker family. Work hard and do us proud.