Seeing players emerge after making big offseason leaps in their development often means more opportunities for those prospects to pick up scholarship offers. That’s something we can count on each summer. It’s also something we lost by not having camp season, which slowed down the recruitment for prospects around the region. On the short list of players most affected by this is Norris tight end James Carnie.
Carnie, a Miami (Ohio) commit, has certainly made the most of his time during the dead period. He hasn’t picked up the Power 5 offers yet this summer that he was hoping for, but that hasn’t slowed him down. He has spent his time working out in Hickman, Nebraska, at a gym that has been open six days a week. He has worked out for two hours each session with his trainer Christopher Slatt and hitting the weight room hard was his priority. The results of that hard work showed at the Warren Academy Showcase.
Great to be back 😤🙏🏼@Warren_Academy @ThomasFidone pic.twitter.com/ltRtS6GXKp
— James Carnie (@JamesCarnie1) July 25, 2020
“The 40-yard-dash is a big testing measurement on players’ athletic abilities,” Carnie said. “I ran a 5.1 in January. A coach told me to work on it so I grabbed the bull by the horns and I ran with it. Me and Slatt we really worked on that a lot. We worked on it probably twice a week. The other two days was just agility type stuff. I was 193 pounds in November. I thought if I’m going to play tight end in college at the D1 level I have to pick up the weight a little bit. I just worked on that, gained 32 pounds and that was it.”
Carnie ripped off a 4.6 laser timed 40-yard-dash at the showcase and measured in at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds. Those impressive gains came as a result of sticking to a plan for the Norris High star. His favorite foods are steaks, burgers and brats with a side of potatoes, a big salad and rice.
His post-workout dinner meal is where the gains happened though.
“I pretty much ate anything I could see,” Carnie said. “I’m picky so my mom knows what to cook and I know how to eat. After dinner I’d make this protein shake. It had 1,300 calories in it, 277 carbs and 50 grams of protein. That was after dinner so it’s just sitting on me and waiting to get put into muscle.”
Carnie may be committed but his level of communication has increased with Nebraska recently. Tight ends coach Sean Beckton has spoken with him several times since his breakout performance at the showcase. The pair talk almost daily now. The relationship between Carnie and Beckton is starting to take off since Beckton has been easy for him to communicate with.
“He’s super cool,” Carnie said. “I can tell how he coaches. He’s a father figure here for those kids who really come from far away. I could just tell what his coaching style is. Even from what he’s told me, he’s shown proof of how he coaches and all that. He’s super proud of his tight ends right now. They’ve been busting it real hard in the weight room. He says that’s going to be hopefully you in a couple years. He’s just a good guy, easy to talk to you and all that.”
Carnie is a big Husker fan and has been attending games with his family since he was little, so the increased interest from Nebraska has been special for him. He says that being called by the Nebraska coaching staff has been really meaningful.
The scholarship offer from Nebraska hasn’t come yet for Carnie but he has plenty of advocates in his corner. Beckton, Director of Player Personnel Sean Dillon and lead in-state recruiter Barrett Ruud have all been working on Coach Scott Frost according to Carnie. The coach is aware of Carnie’s camp performances and the pair are hoping to talk more soon.
Carnie will now turn his attention to his senior year of high school. He is excited about the potential of his team this season. He wants to improve his blocking since he now has more muscle mass to make an impact in that area of the game. Beyond that, he knows the season will be big for him to get more college looks.
“Kansas State will be at a couple of my games,” Carnie said. “Iowa State, Virginia Tech, said they’re going to come out. Boise State will come out and obviously Miami will come out to a few of the games. It’ll be fun to just to bring the attention to Norris because we are Class B that gets overlooked by Class A. It’s good for me to be able to bring the exposure to some of the teammates who are really good. We have three to five potential Division I football players.”
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.