Corey Jasper has shuffled between guard and center more times than he can count during his Carson High football career.
While many players would complain, Jasper doesn’t. He’s all about team, and that attitude is what CHS coach Blair Roman loves about him.
“Whatever the team needs him to do, he’ll do,” said Roman, whose 0-1 Carson Senators visit McQueen Friday night. “He is just a total team guy; a jack-of-all trades guy..”
“That (being a team guy) should be everybody’s mentality,” Jasper said before Wednesday’s practice. “It shouldn’t be about what best suits you, the player. It should be about what helps the team the most. Of course everybody has a preference. If it doesn’t benefit the team they shouldn’t be playing at all.”
Case in point. Jasper started last week’s game at defensive tackle even though he didn’t play a snap on defense the entire 2014 season. He played just the opening series at defensive tackle, and Roman felt he did a good job.
“Last year I was in the rotation at the start of the year, but after the Spanish Springs game coach (Jim) Franz decided he wanted me playing offense only,” Jasper said. “I like playing defense. I like playing both ways.”
On Friday, Jasper’s starting spot on offense will hinge on the health of Austin Ackerman.
Right now, Jasper is expecting to start at center. If Ackerman does get healthy enough to start, Jasper would likely move over to right guard. He knows both guard spots in addition to center.
The 5-foot-9 220-pounder said he has never played tackle and probably never will. In Carson’s scheme it wouldn’t be a good fit.
“There is a difference between the guard spots,” Jasper said. “The quick guard pulls on every play. The power guard moves the wall. I do pull on occasion. A lot of it depends on where the ball is on the field. I like playing guard better. I feel I get off the ball quicker from a 3-point stance than I do when I’m snapping the ball. The assignments at center are easier.”
Jasper, along with Eddie Duarte, Ackerman, Logan Menzel, Kevin Rusler and tight end Josh Thompson, opened enough holes and protected QB Joe Nelson well enough for the Senators to chalk up 478 yards. Nelson threw for 210 and ran for 57, while junior Greg Wallace ran for a team-best 69. Elijah Fajayan ran for 47 on 11 carries.
As a junior, Jasper and Ackerman usually split time at center. It was a move designed to keep both players fresh.
“I don’t know if it felt good getting a break or not,” Jasper said.
“I like playing. I hated coming out. I played pretty much the whole game on offense last week, and I’m capable of doing that.”
And, he’s 100 percent healthy after battling knee and neck injuries late last year.
With newcomer Isaiah Prater in the lineup along with Bryceton Schilling and junior starter Sheldon Miller coming back next week, Jasper isn’t likely to play much on defense.
“I like playing defense, but we have enough good defensive linemen,” he said. “Isaiah has fit right in like he’s one of the family, and Sheldon has looked really good on the scout team.”