Success has come early and often for Carson High junior Asa Carter.
He had a 17-tackle effort in a 19-6 win over McQueen early last year, and followed that up in the rivalry game against Douglas with 13 tackles in a 19-13 win. The then-sophomore had nine-tackle efforts against Spanish Springs and Damonte Ranch en route to 94 tackles and all-region honors.
The 6-foot-1 180-pound safety/wingback is picking up where he left off in 2013.
Heading into Friday’s nonconference road game at undefeated Hug (7 p.m.), he has a team and area-leading three interceptions and is third on the team in tackles with 32. And, he’s coming off one of the best games in his career with 11 tackles, two pass interceptions and a TD pass on a halfback option play in last week’s 28-27 loss to Spanish Springs.
“I would compare that game to the game against McQueen when I had 17 tackles,” Carter said Wednesday during weight training class. “It was about the same (type of game) as McQueen. I just didn’t have any interceptions that game.”
Whether he plays close to the line or is on the back line of defense at safety, Carter has excelled for the Senators. He has been arguably Carson’s most consistent player in the past season and a half. Depending on how many games Carson plays this year he could eclipse his 94-tackle effort of 2013. He was moved to free safety this year to take advantage of his ball-hawking skills.
“He can do that (play close to the line),” Roman said. “Last year he played our hybrid spot which is a combo linebacker and safety. We moved him to safety to take advantage of his ball skills. He has great vision back there. He is really good at diagnosing run and pass from 12 to 19 yards away. He does a good job of coming up and helping in the running game. He has good knowledge; a good IQ for the game.”
By his own admission, Carter has made just one bad read, and that came last Friday when Spanish Springs connected on a 20-yard pass play on a fourth-and-short play which led to a touchdown. He attributes his success to experience and watching a lot of film with his brother, Paul (JV head coach).
“I prefer being close to the line,” he said. “I played linebacker all my life. The reads are easier.
“This is my 11th year playing football, and you pick things up. I spend a lot of time watching film. I go to my older brother’s house on Sundays. I ask my brother things.”
Carter is the latest in a long line of boys who have played at Carson, and he could be the best.
“So far he’s showing the best,” Roman said. “He’s sure been good for us. His older brother Josh was a great running back and Luke was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2009. Paul was a really good linebacker and state champion wrestler.”
“I’m more like Luke,” Carter said. “We both like defense more than offense.”
Carter is effective on offense, too. In Carson’s scheme he blocks more than he runs, though he’s averaging 5.8 a rush and 16 yards a reception. He admitted he wouldn’t mind getting more carries.
Carter earned his stripes on special teams a year ago, and he’s valuable covering punts and kickoffs.
“I like going down and covering kicks,” Carter said. “I’m on punt return right now.”
Playing three sports was always Carter’s goal once he got to Carson High, and unlike many who attempt it, he excels at all three. He’s arguably the best athlete at Carson, and he still has another year of high school left.
“I never get much time off,” Carter said. “I think the most time I’ve ever had off is four days. I just love the work; the challenges. I don’t question it. I love the effort you have to put into it.
“It was always the plan to play three sports. For me, the toughest decision was whether to play basketball or wrestle. It was hard. I really enjoyed wrestling in middle school.”
He was all-region as a defender last year, has made state in track the past two years and was a key sub coming off the bench for Carlos Mendeguia’s basketball team.
And his favorite? The answer was somewhat surprising.
“Track,” said Carter, a long and triple jumper. “It’s all individual. If you don’t do well, you have nobody to blame but yourself. No one else can let you down.”
And, Carter hasn’t let anybody down in his brief, but highly successful Carson High career.