When Nate Williams arrived for his first season as head coach at Flint (Mich.) Carman-Ainsworth High, he was looking to see what kind of players he had to work with at the receiver position. He did not expect the one to stand out would just be a kid who just finished the eighth grade.
Wide receiver Shane Barron is now heading into his senior year, when he will be a four-year starter for Carman-Ainsworth. Coach Williams recognized the 5-10, 170-pound Barron's talent from day one.
"When I talk to colleges, I usually tell them the story about his freshman year when I met him down at team camp," Williams said. "We were doing a 7-on-7 against a team and I had some receivers who were not getting off the line. I finally asked, 'Is there anybody who can get off the line and run this route?' He raised his hand, went out there and beat the kid by ten yards.
"He changed gears when the ball was in the air, and I said, 'That kid is a varsity football player now.' A day later I put him with the third group and a day hadn't passed before I moved him up to the starting lineup. He was doing things in practice I had not seen in another kid."
Barron earned first team all-conference honors as a sophomore, and was first team all-state as a junior. He now enters the recruiting process as one of the best known names in the state of Michigan for the 2012 class.
"Illinois just called two days ago and really, really likes him. Michigan State has also come in," Williams said. "All of them said they are definitely going to be recruiting him hard."
Syracuse, Toledo, Michigan and Iowa have also been showing significant interest in Barron, and Williams said his star player is wide open to all schools interested in him.
Barron has already been timed in the 40-yard dash in the 4.4 range, and has the ability to play on either side of the football in college.
"I believe he is going to be a receiver in college. He has the ability to play defensive back, but I believe he'll be a receiver," Williams said. "What gives him the edge over a lot of kids is that he is a great player, but he is a humble player. He is so competitive and wants to win."