One of the Warrick Dunn finalists, Kentwood's Shyheim Carter, is Louisiana's MVP for Class 1A and the Most Outstanding player from the Kangaroos' 40-to-7 1A Championship victory over Haynesville.
"Quarterback is my favorite position. If you ask me, there's nothing like having the ball in your hands every play," Carter said.
"When I first heard about him, they called him "The Phenom." I was actually in Arkansas at the time. When I actually met him, it was more of a 'Wow' factor. Like 'He ain't what I thought,'" said Kentwood offensive coordinator Cornelius Blount. "You know cause he didn't go 'Ok I'm the best football player around,' which he is hands down, the best I've ever seen in Kentwood history."
However, those awards and more than 4,000 yards rushing and passing, producing more than 30 touchdowns, don't tell the full story for Carter.
"He jumped over a kid. Completely over him. And that was that moment where my eyes stayed like," Blount said showing a shocked look.
Turns out this phenom and folk hero comes from a long line of football families in Kentwood. His uncles and cousins played under the water tower and in the Superdome.
"They used to always tell me I've got to go to the Superdome and win at least one out of my four years," said Carter. "And I just felt like that was something I had to do, because everybody in my family played in the Superdome."
Carter got Kentwood to the Superdome, but at practice the day before the game, he suffered a torn meniscus in his knee.
"I tried to walk on it, but I couldn't like move it. Everybody started running to me and asking me how I was, and I kind of hung my head," Carter said. "But going through my mind, it was like 'I've got to be there for my team, I can't let nobody down.' We made it this far, I've got to finish."
On game day, Carter was determined to give it a go.
"We got to the dome. The trainer, he was like 'See what you can do on it.' I walked to the 50, and I got back to the 20," Carter said. "He told me run to the goal line. And I ran, and I looked back and said 'I can't run no more."
"What he's great at is running. Not saying that he can't throw, but what he's great at is the way to extend plays," Blount said.
"He asked me can I throw the ball. I said 'Let's go see.' I was throwing the ball perfectly and it carried over to the game," Carter said.
Blount said that Carter played with one leg, "a half a Shyheim."
Carter said that Blount had warned he would be taken out of the game if he even thought "about running with the ball or get touched."
"Four touchdowns later. MVP, State Championship. For him to have the courage to go with one leg, knowing his college career, you know, could be at stake," Blount said.
"I prayed to God to lead me through it, and that's what he did," Carter said.
Carter spent the weekend on a recruiting visit in Alabama for its national championship parade. His coach said he was at LSU this week for a midweek visit, and he's got offers from all the heavyweights like Clemson, Oregon and USC. Though Carter is one of four quarterback finalists, he's being recruited as a cornerback.
The winner of the Sportsline Player of the Year Award will be announced at this year's Warrick Dunn banquet on Wednesday, January 27.
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