Above graphic from @GoEditGraphics
In coming years, do not be surprised if the UMHB offensive line sets itself apart as the best in the nation. It has already accumulated national honors and is regarded as superior across the ASC, but the incoming recruiting class brought in by the coaching staff is set to bolster the talent level on the O-Line that much more.
One of the most intriguing incoming offensive linemen is Caedmon Carter, a native of Trophy Club, Texas, who starred for Grapevine Faith Christian School.
Listed at 6’3, 270 lbs, Carter has the potential to see immediate playing time, due to his maturity level and the strength and technique he showed throughout his senior year in high school.
We caught up with Carter to discuss his commitment to UMHB, the fact that he turned down a D1 offer to become a Crusader, his strong Christian faith, the influence of his older brother, and much more as we continue to catch up with the commits.
Q: What separated UMHB from the rest?
CC: “Before I went on my visit, I was looking at a lot of schools up north in Iowa, but after I went on the visit and interacted with the coaches and players firsthand, two things really stood out to me. One was the level facilities. The weight room, the fieldhouse, the locker rooms everything was top notch. Two, every person I talked to was abnormally kind for [me being a] stranger.”
Q: What has playing football at this high level taught you?
CC: “Playing football and playing at this level, it is really a testimony to the commitment someone has to have. When you’re playing this, it’s thing where you’re playing it because you love the game and the brotherhood, but at the end of the day, you’re playing to win. If you’re playing for a team that doesn’t win, you’re not going to have a good time with it.”
Q: You accomplished a lot during your high school career. Is there a specific moment or game that sticks out to you?
CC: “My junior year, I was the only junior on the O-Line, everyone else was a senior. So there was a lot of pressure that year, because I was the guy that hadn’t proven himself. There was a game that year where we played a large public school and we’re a private school. It was there homecoming and we were down by a touchdown and we went from their 10-yard line and drove down and scored. The O-Line ended up being named “Player of the Game” as a unit and we drove it, I think 16 plays, each one [against] zone. That was a really special moment, not only for me, but for the whole group of guys.”
Q: How did playing alongside those seniors as a junior help you improve?
CC: “Playing side by side to those older guys who have been starting for the last two or three years, they’d didn’t show you a lot of mercy when you screwed up, but they really taught me a lot really quickly. I ended up being really proficient. It trained me a lot for this past year, my senior year, when I was the only returning starter on the O-Line. I was having to basically parent the rest of the O-Line and be the guy that helped everybody else out.”
Q: Having been in those guys’ shoes the year before, how did you approach the role of being the experienced returner helping them out?
CC: “I tried to use more love and relationships with my guys because they were younger than when the seniors were having to deal with me [as a junior]. Both my tackles were sophomore and my center was a junior. I couldn’t be such a hard-nose with everything, I really had to take my time and do extra reps in practice instead of trying to rush them to get everything down.”
Q: You did have the D1 offer from Drake. What was it like to get the D1 offer and at the same time, what made you choose to go the D3 route, considering it is rare for a player to turn down a scholarship offer to a D1 program?
CC: “It was a lot of vindication for me to get that offer, because growing up I was always the kid that was overlooked and unathletic, so that was a big deal for me, proving the hard work I’d put in over the last decade. But my decision to go with Mary Hardin-Baylor really came down to atmosphere at the end of the day. Drake is a secular school and I felt that, as a Christian, it would be a lot more beneficial to be around a group of guys that are going to push me closer to Jesus, versus having to try to defend my faith everyday on campus.”
Q: Considering how important your faith is to you, how much are you looking forward to UMHB, a place where both the football program and the University itself are Christian-based?
CC: “It really is a blessing. There’s a lot of apprehension going into college, thinking about, ‘How am I going to change based on the atmosphere of the college?’ It is really reassuring to know that when I go to Mary Hardin-Baylor, I’m going to be supported in what I believe and pushed further in my walk with Christ by men who are a lot further along than I am. At the same time, being able to play such a high level of football, it really is the best of both worlds. It’s one of the best situations I could imagine.”
Q: As far as your on-field play goes, what do you feel like your biggest strength is?
CC: “I struggled with pass protection my junior year, so I spent a lot of time hammering out my fundamentals and my technique on pass protection. A lot of pass pro is more on technique and fundamentals than it is base strength or athleticism. So I feel like pass protection is probably my strength right now, just because I had to work on my technique so much.”
Q: Has there been someone that has really helped you along in both your football career and just in life in general?
CC: “Obviously I look up to my brother, Cameron, a lot. He played wide receiver, so we have some different jobs on the football field, but I wasn’t so much looking at technique as that drive to get up early in the morning and get stuff done so that I can compete at the next level. He is the reason I’m getting to where I am today, because he was the one that was driving me to the weight room, giving me workouts, teaching me how to eat right. He is the reason I’m the person I am right now.”
If you weren’t playing football is there another sport you’d be playing?: “Absolutely not. The only other sport I played was basketball and I quit after my freshman year because I was terrible.” (Though it should be noted that Carter stood out in track and field this spring. He claimed the district title in shot put with a throw of 40’11” on April 11)
Favorite subject in school?: “Probably my sciences. I’m going to be a Physicology major and going to medical school after I get my bachelor’s in Physicology. So getting to learn about how the body works as I get more specific in what I’m studying, the sciences are definitely going to be my favorite subjects.”
Specific Bible verse that has always stuck out to you?:“My favorite verse is Galatians 6:2, which is why I wear the jersey number ’62’. It says, ‘Bear one another’s burdens and in this way fulfill the law of Christ.’ I think that bears a lot of meaning both as a Christian and as a lineman. As a lineman, you have to work together with the other four guys next to you, otherwise you’ll never be able to succeed. You have to be able to work together to be able to push forward.”