FOUR PLAYERS FROM Denver's Mullen High, last year's 5A state champions, went on to sign with Division I-A schools. The 2006 crop of future college talent from the school includes Chris Carney, the top cornerback prospect in the state who holds an offer from Washington State.
With cornerback one of the priorities for WSU this class, Carney (6-1, 170) becomes the fourth known CB to have received an offer from the Cougs, with the others being LB Poly's Vincent Joseph, Rancho Cucamonga's Devin Ross and LA's Darian Hagan Jr..
Colorado regularly plucks talent from Mullen, with two signees in 2003, two future Buffs from the 2005 class on the way and one Mullen senior-to-be from the 2006 class already having verbally committed to CU. Carney also had CU as his frontrunner, but things have changed.
"That was probably about six months ago," said Carney, who racked up 110 tackles on the way to being selected first team all-league as a junior. "I haven't really looked into all that. I still have to figure out the best school for me. All the schools are about even since I haven't gone in depth with the whole thing yet."
In addition to Washington State, the first to offer a scholarship in writing, Iowa State, Wisconsin and Northern Colorado have also offered Carney. Colorado, Colorado State, Arizona State, Nebraska and Kansas State are among those showing interest. All except ASU are looking at Carney as a cornerback, with the Sun Devils talking to him about the possibility of playing safety.
CARNEY ALREADY KNOWS the in-state schools quite well. Because of NCAA rules on when and how often a school can contact prospective student-athletes, he hasn't been able to talk to the other schools as much as he'd like -- and that includes Washington State.
"I've been trying to call them but they're kind of busy," said Carney of WSU. "And I know they can't call me back right now, so I haven't been able to get in contact with them. But they told me that they've had six DBs who've been to the draft the last four years so that's of course going to be a plus. But I haven't really looked into all the schools as of yet."
Carney has attended the one day camps at Iowa State, Colorado and Wyoming thus far, with Colorado State the last one scheduled. In a school, academics is on top of the list for Carney, a very good student with a 3.2 GPA. Location and distance are not a factor.
"The main thing is if it has a good business school and if the coaches are also there to make sure I get my degree," he said. "Another factor would be if I have a good chance to come in and (earn playing time) my first year. I can play anywhere. My parents are probably going to move anyway after I graduate."
At the next level, Carney hopes to play for a DB coach who will help him reach his full potential.
"I'm going to work as hard as I can in college but there's always time when you need a coach to motivate you and get you to the next level," he said.
Carney, who helped power Mullen to a 13-1 record and the 5A state title last year, is in no hurry to make a decision.
"I'm just waiting to see if any other offers come in and see how it all works out," he said.
Chris Carney profile and video clips