More big things ahead

As one of the top offensive linemen in the region, Carroll is ready for another season with the Golden Knights.

September 09, 2010|By Grant Gordon,

It hasn't been all that long since Patrick Carroll first pulled on a pair of shoulder pads and strapped up a helmet.

It wasn't that long ago that he really started blocking people. Or better yet, really started hitting people. Or, quite frankly, truly began dominating the opposition.

As a freshman at St. Francis High, the Golden Knights man-child began his first days playing tackle football.

"It was difficult, cause it was the first time really hitting someone," Carroll recalls. "Once I got used to it, it was easy, it was like I was doing it my whole life and I loved it."


Prior to his days at St. Francis, Carroll was relegated to playing flag football.

"I've always been a big kid," he says.

And his size, combined with his youth — he only just recently turned 17 as a senior — prevented him from making the weight restrictions for his age group in Pop Warner football. It certainly didn't hinder his growth as a football player, however.

A varsity starter as a sophomore, Carroll would pick up All-Mission League and All-Area honors, before duplicating the feats and adding All-CIF accolades as a junior. Now, the 6-foot-5 1/2, 280-pound people mover disguised as an affable and well-expressed St. Francis student-athlete is set to embark upon a senior season many are prognosticating to be one to remember.

"He's really gonna explode this season," senior linebacker and running back Michael Melnick predicts. "This is his last year, he's gonna make an impact."

Considered one of the finest offensive linemen in the region, Carroll has drawn major notice from major Division I colleges following his sophomore year and now hopes to bring it all together, as the left tackle has high hopes for himself and, above and beyond, the Golden Knights.

"That camaraderie and that brotherhood, it's amazing. These guys on my team are like my brothers," says Carroll while watching his younger brother take part in a Pop Warner practice. "It's fun to see my name in the paper. My family likes it. But I want to win. I'd rather win than have my name in the paper."

More than any other position on the football field, offensive linemen are used to basking in the spotlight less than anyone else. But the skills of Carroll — and the college notice he's garnered — and the four "brothers" that line up directly to his right have drawn their share of attention this preseason.

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