He’s a strong, physical kid who was made for contact but every game you see him in, Carr is showing not only soft hands out of the backfield, but the ability to make multiple defenders miss in the open field. He has has improved his wiggle and top end speed and when you combine that with his size and power, it’s easy to see why he earned a 5-star rating in the recent Scout 100. Carr is a soft commit to the USC but will take some visits in the fall. - Greg Biggins, Scout.com
SC Commit Shines at Passing Down SoCal Regional
by Lorenzo Reyna
All gas, no breaks: four words that describes Fontana (Calif.) Summit High running back phenom Stephen Carr. The way the USC commit runs the football makes him look like a corvette among trucks.
The Class of 2017 prospect also kept his foot on the gas pedal for seven straight hours at the Passing Down Southern California Regional in Fontana on March 20, as he was the go-to-guy for Ground Zero Panoramic and helped lead the 7-on-7 squad back to the regional tournament’s title game for the third consecutive year.
He also was awarded something valuable for the high school football star recently: the coveted 5-Star ranking; labeling him an instant impact player for any college football program. Carr, though, hasn’t taken any pit stops since receiving the accolade.
“It feels great, but I’m not going to stop because of the 5-Star. There’s still other people out there grinding and there are other 5-Star running backs. It’s not a big difference to me,” Carr said. “They don’t really matter, but it is only good to keep you updated on where you are and what you have to live up to.” The muscular 6-foot, 195-pound Carr has lived up to so many lofty expectations among his coaches, teammates and fellow peers. Carr is listed as the nation’s top all-purpose back according to rivals.com and the West region’s second bestrunning back according to scout.com.
One top prospect he finds himself in friendly competition with is another Passing Down alum and highly wanted recruit: Alabama commit Najee Harris of Antioch, Calif, who is listed as the top Class of 2017 running back in the country.
“Najee Harris is great competition. Every time we see each other at camps, we get that vibe like ‘OK, let’s go.’ It’s always a good vibe around him,” Carr said.
Both Carr and Harris have delivered dominating performances at Passing Down regionals. Harris took home Most Valuable Player honors at the Central California tournament in 2015. Carr not only executed game-altering plays against the best in Southern California on Sunday, but made his run at the MVP trophy before his team lost to Pro Way Hot Boyz 14-6 for the championship.
Carr emerged as the underneath option for Ground Zero Panoramic’s offense. He continuously got open on wheel, slant and out routes then used his speed and elusiveness to fool defenders.
Spectators and high school football pundits have seen the athletic side of Carr, but leadership is a side of him that not too many people know about.
“Being a leader on the field is a big role,” Carr said. “I’m zoned in, but I also make sure that everyone is focused up and doing what they’re supposed to do. I’m a leader in the huddle. When I was growing up, I was always around top recruits who led me. It was good looking up to them to see how they did it and now I’m taking over their actions to help out our younger guys.”
He cites past Ground Zero alums Eric Brown, Damian Alloway, Lokeni Toailoa, Leni Toailoa and Demetric Felton as his inspirations, saying “Everyone from last year was a big influence on me.”
Two more motivating factors for Carr are the men implementing the vision for Ground Zero: Armond Hawkins and Anthony Brown.
“They’ve been a big influence on me,” Carr said. “They mentor me and let me know the things that I need to know about these colleges. They’ve guided me through this process.”
As he continues to pile the yardage at different camps and tournaments, he continues to pile the pledges. Carr said Miami, Nebraska, Michigan, Cal and Oklahoma are the latest college teams that extended a scholarship offer to him.
Are these schools convincing Carr to bolt from the Trojans?
“Options are still open, but I’m still committed to USC,” Carr said.
Until then, Carr plans to keep his foot on the pedal with Ground Zero Panoramic, as GZ will head to their fourth consecutive appearance at the Best of the West finals on April 24 in Fullerton.
Said Carr: “We make sure we grind. It’s all competition. Everyone competes. It’s hard for people to slack off there (at Ground Zero).”