Vanderbilt Commodores Commit K.J. Carta-Samuels Turning Heads At Elite 11 Camp

Vanderbilt Commodores

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt commitment Kyle Carta-Samuels (San Jose, Calif. Bellarmine College Prep) is turning heads with his play at the Elite 11 camp, showing off his big arm, deft footwork and exceptional strength.

The last name is familiar to Commodores fans as older brother Austyn Carta-Samuels is in line to be Vanderbilt’s starting quarterback this season after the graduation of two-year starter Jordan Rodgers. However, younger brother Kyle, also known as K.J., is the far superior prospect compared to his older brother.

Elite 11 coach and former Super Bowl-winning quarterback Trent Dilfer said to Josh Newberg of 247Sports, “I don’t know that I’ve ever coached a kid more trainable than K.J.” The four-star recruit is outperforming highly-ranked quarterbacks such as David Cornwell, Keller Chryst and Jacob Park, and looks like one of the top five or six arms in the country.

His high school program operates out of a double wing offense and hasn’t been able to show off his arm as often, so this has been an eye-opening experience. He ranks as the No. 10 pro-style quarterback and No. 224 overall according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. Those numbers are bound to rise.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pound signal-caller showed off his strength with a 42.5-foot throw in the powerball toss, and the quarterback-built-like-a-linebacker also showed off his athleticism with a 4.09 time in the shuttle.

His combination of skills, measurables and pedigree could lead to his being tabbed as the best quarterback to enroll in program history. This involves a great deal of projecting, but he could rival famous Commodore alumni Billy Wade and Jay Cutler if he continues his rapid development.

Before I invoke too much hyperbole in his performance thus far at the Elite 11 camp, let me say that his current body of work is on par with the best in the country.

Prior to the arrival of head coach James Franklin, the thought of securing a commitment from a player the caliber of Carta-Samuels was so crazy to fathom. With Franklin running the program, no recruit is deemed out of reach.

Carta-Samuels stood out among the best quarterbacks in the nation and if this is any indication he will do the same in college where the SEC is represented by five other arms at the Elite 11 camp.

Vanderbilt is hoping the transition from one Carta-Samuels to the next is smooth. The program has embraced the mantra of being a game-changer, and Carta-Samuels is proof that this philosophy is already rubbing off on its recruits.

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and add him to your Google network.

Around the Web

  • Brian

    I understand it’s great to get all hyped up over what these four-star five star, 10 star kids do, but as a veteran writer, I find it silly to rank kids No one knows how they will do until they get to college and play. I’ve seen more than my share of over-hyped kids fail and under-hyped kids succeed.

    • http://www.rantsports.com/blog/author/patrickschmidt/feed/ Patrick Schmidt

      I think that’s why the Elite 11 camp is so cool. It’s not a collection of the highest ranked kids. It’s an ensemble of kids who have performed the best on the field. That’s why you see a number of 3-star kids with a couple of offers competing and often outperforming their 5-star counterparts with offers from the likes of Alabama and LSU. As long as there are rankings we will always see guys not live up to their billing and guys prove their ranking as completely off.