By Dave Wagner
Eastern New Mexico University football coach Bud Elliott announced the signing of nine players to national letters of intent on Wednesday, including possibly the team’s quarterback of the future.
Anthony Carter led Class 2A Jacksboro (Texas) High School to a 20-4 record over the past two seasons, and Elliott believes he could fit into the Greyhounds’ option scheme.
“He’s really a fine option quarterback,” Elliott said. “He’s got a good arm, and he’s got enough speed to run away from people.”
Carter rushed for 838 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, and threw for 18 touchdowns. Jacksboro has lost to the eventual state runnerup in the second round of the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, Carter said.
“I feel good; I’m ready to go down there,” he said after signing. “Running the option is my favorite thing; that was a big thing for me.”
Carter, whose father played quarterback at Angelo State, said Abilene Christian tried to recruit him late and Midwestern State also showed some interest.
“(ENMU assistant) coach (Mike) Walton was recruiting me this fall,” he said. “(Eastern) pushed harder than any of the other colleges.
“I had talked to (Texas) Tech for a while, but then they went with a junior college player.”
One of his teammates, free safety Derek Inman, was among the other ENMU signees on Wednesday.
“It’s going to be nice to go where you know a teammate, but neither of us based our decision on that,” Carter said.
ENMU signed two other quarterbacks on Wednesday in Brandon Dominguez of Anton, Texas, and Matt Palmer of Lovington, but both are listed as “quarterback/athletes” and Elliott said they may come in at other positions.
Also signing on Wednesday were running back Zack Young of Amarillo Highland Park, offensive tackles Taylor Graves of Brownwood, Texas, and Jeff Ashabranner of Celina, Texas, and centers Eric Ballard of Lovington and Gil Shackelford of Wink, Texas.
“I think we’ve signed some fine offensive linemen, and an awful good running back out of Highland Park High School,” Elliott said. “The two offensive tackles have a shot to play next year.”
The Hounds don’t expect to sign many more players, but most of the remaining ones will likely be on defense. Inman was the only signee on that side of the ball on Wednesday.
“Obviously, we haven’t got the defense taken care of the way we want to,” Elliott said. “If we’re patient, we’ll find what we need.”