BY JEREMY HOECK
Tacari Carpenter knows nothing is guaranteed a true freshman. But that’s fine with him.
“I’m all about working hard and earning my spot,” said Carpenter, a 6-foot receiver from Oak Lawn, Ill., a suburb of Chicago.
A highly-pursued recruit by a number of Division I programs, Carpenter chose to sign with the University of South Dakota on Wednesday. Carpenter was joined in USD’s 30-man class by high school teammate Dylan Jiles, a defensive back.
Head coach Joe Glenn called Carpenter the “real deal” in Wednesday’s release.
“We identified Tacari as a game-changing receiver from the get go,” Glenn said. “He is one of the top receivers to come out of Illinois and he can factor into our return game as well.”
Carpenter spoke with the Press & Dakotan about his signing.
Had to be a pretty big day at your high school with you and Dylan both signing with USD, didn’t it?
“Yeah for sure. Dylan is pretty much my best friend. He plays safety and I’m a receiver, and we like to comepte against each other. We’re like brothers, I basically stay at his house all the time, so why not go to school together?”
What did you like about USD?
“All the coaches are great. My official (visit) was two weeks ago, and I saw a lot of things. I liked USD before that, but I committed that Sunday. It sold me. All the things I pictured it being, it was.”
What did the coaches tell you?
“They want me to come in right away, to put me in the best position to make plays. It’s up to me to do that. They want me to be a true freshman and do what I can. Dreams don’t come true sometimes, I have to do what I can. I’m not just going to take what the coaches tell me, I’m all about working hard and earning my spot.”
What stood out about USD’s program?
“You can see the coaches love it. They put everything into it, and the school loves the team. They didn’t have the best season, but I’m sure they will be coming up. They just want to win. They haven’t had the best luck, but I’m sure the tables will turn quickly. I can see the future coming; something is going to happen there.”
How about potentially playing your first game at Oregon?
“That’s one of the games I’ve been waiting on my whole life. That’s what my dad told me. I want to make plays; I want to be noticed. I’m ready. Not many schools have that competitive schedule, but win or lose, they want the best.”