By Joseph Hamrick
Colby Carthel, head coach of the Texas A&M University-Commerce football team, said he lives and breathes recruiting.
Wednesday, Carthel signed 37 players on National Signing Day, all high school recruits, and all from Texas.
“It’s been non-stop, we’ve hit 106 schools in three days,” he said. “These are our foundation.”
When finding the players for his team, Carthel said there were three categories he looks for: athletic ability, good character and high academic scores.
“Those high school coaches know who the best are,” he said.
Carthel said these players, mostly local talent with 64.9 percent being within 150 miles from Commerce, signed with A&M-Commerce because they believe in the program.
“They put a lot of trust in us and believe in us,” he said. “They appreciate what we’re doing here. These are our cornerstone players.”
According to Carthel, a few of the names stood out as great high school players, but added that there are no guarantees when it comes to transitioning to college football.
“They’re all very good high school players,” he said. “But some turn out to be flops while some turn out to be all American.”
Carthel said the two quarterbacks he signed, Draze Lawliss, from Justin, and Luke Walters, hailing from Pleasanton, show promise.
Even though Carthel signed 37 in one day, he said he’s not finished yet.
“We’re going to keep recruiting and try to sign 15 or 20 more,” he said. “We will evaluate what we have here, see what we have this spring and go from there.”
College football is a big leap from high school, and Carthel said he will “trim the fat” when it comes to who he thinks is cut out to play at Memorial Stadium.
Carthel said the city and university were the key selling points in bringing so many players to Commerce.
“We sold them a vision,” he said. “We have a great campus and a great city, this place sells itself.”