When Oklahoma State signed 28 football players in February, most of the names were familiar:
Herschel Sims. J.W. Walsh. Lyndell Johnson. David Glidden.
But not all of them were household names.
Richardson (Texas) standout Torrance Carr joined the Cowboys Class of 2011 just days before Signing Day and when the Cowboy coaching staff evaluated the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Carr they saw some similarities to 2010 Biletnikoff Award winner Justin Blackmon.
“Not to say he's going to be Blackmon but he has some of the qualities that Blackmon has,” said inside receivers coach Doug Meacham, who played a primary role in recruiting Carr. “(He has) big hands, can box people out, he runs physical and he's tall.”
Comparisons of Carr, who played multiple positions including quarterback, receiver and safety at Richardson, to Blackmon are unfair to the Pokes' signee but his raw athletic ability is decidedly unique.
“His athleticism and ball skills, toughness, all those things checked out,” Meacham said. “Those guys are hard to find.”
Partially due to academic concerns, Carr was set to go to North Texas before OSU decided he was worth taking a chance on and offered him. Now, the Pokes' risk appears to have paid off as Carr buckled down and qualified thanks to a recent test score.
“He's taken care of business and gotten himself in,” said South Grand Prairie (Texas) coach Brent Whitson, who coached Carr at Richardson in 2010. “And OSU is going to benefit from it.”
Listed as an athlete on signing day, Carr is expected to line up at receiver and learn behind Blackmon this season.
“I'm just happy to be able to practice behind him and just watch him, get under his wing,” Carr said. “Whatever he's doing, I want to be doing the same thing.”
Whitson, who has made several coaching stops in Oklahoma including Shawnee and Broken Arrow, considers Carr the best athlete he's coached and wouldn't be surprised to see him earn playing time immediately.
“He could play opposite Justin Blackmon,” Whitson said. “He's really raw but he's so explosive as an athlete. He's one of those guys where it's ‘don't mess him up.'”
Whitson's belief that Carr won't require a redshirt season is grounded in another attribute Carr appears to share with the Cowboys' standout receiver: The will to be great.
“I think that's what got Doug's attention in the first place,” Whitson said. “I think that got his attention more than the (highlight) video did.
“When things were in trouble we could run a play through him and he would find a way to make a play. Some guys you can just tell, that's why I don't back off one bit on saying he will play as a true freshman.”
And Carr's goals as a freshman speak to his confidence and desire. He's not worried about starting but he does have one clear focus, stating:
“I want to show the coaches when Justin leaves I'm the next man to make things happen for us.”