FONTANA, Calif. - Desman Carter has the size, speed and strength to be a difference-maker in college, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound prospect who plays safety, outside linebacker, cornerback and some wide receiver at Kaiser High.
"Probably one of the biggest selling points is his size," Kaiser coach Phil Zelaya said. "He's a pretty big kid and he's rangy, long arms, really athletic and very strong. He's put a lot of time in the weight room to get stronger both in his clean and his bench press and his lower body lifts.
"He has a lot of potential going for him. A lot of the guys looking at him are going to be amazed at the size he has."
No offers have arrived yet for Carter but there is a lot of interest mainly from Southern Cal, UCLA, Washington, Alabama, Michigan, Texas A&M, Duke and others. Carter said he gets letters from a bunch of other programs as well but is still waiting for an offer to come.
"I want an offer to know that I have one but if it doesn't happen I will wait and be patient about it," said Carter, who finished with 75 tackles, three interceptions, one sack and a fumble recovery in his junior year. "It makes me go out to the camps and out on the field and go even harder."
Zelaya said he thinks once Carter, included on the Rivals 250 watch list of 2011, attends more camps and combines that offers won't be an issue.
"Once he goes out there and is seen a little bit more he'll be taken care of," Zelaya said. "In the off-season there have been quite a few guys that have come through here and I've mentioned him as well. That's kind of caught on."
Southern Cal secondary coach Willie Mack Garza is developing a relationship with Carter, who attended the Trojans' recent junior day. Getting to know the new coaching staff at Southern Cal is important but it has always been high on Carter's list anyway.
"I like the coaching staff a lot especially the coaches on the defensive side of the ball," Carter said. "I really like my position coach, coach Willie Garza. I don't really think the new coaching staff had an influence on me. USC is USC no matter who is there."
Washington secondary/cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin and UCLA running backs coach Wayne Moses have also made strong impressions on Carter, who said even if he did pick up a few offers would probably wait to commit to make sure he's making the right decision.
The Huskies and Bruins are definitely two teams that interest him. Former Kaiser teammate Josh Shirley is already at UCLA and Carter said that helps out the Bruins a little bit.
"I like (UCLA) because it's an up-and-coming school," Carter said. "They have a lot of young, talented players in their recruiting class this year. In the previous years, they've really been getting guys that want to play good football and want to win.
"(Washington) is another up-and-coming, rising program that I like. The games that they lost were really close."
No one is certain when Carter will start picking up offers. It could be this spring after he attends some camps. It could be in the summer. It might happen while he's playing his senior season.
The timing is still unknown but with his size and speed and playmaking ability it's almost a foregone conclusion that high-profile programs will get involved - and they'll be getting an exceptionally talented and versatile player.
"He's kind of been rotated around and plays a few different positions for us so he's rangy in that aspect," Zelaya said. "Once he finds a position he can excel at, he will.
"… He'll hit you. There's no doubt about it. He'll come up and he'll knock you down. At the same time he's had the ability to make plays in the secondary that you'd expect a more agile football player to make. That's more because of his ranginess, his long arms and his ability to make those plays."