Arkansas target Carter, Legacy bounce back with big win

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Saturday, September 8, 2018
Taurean Carter
Photo by Dudley E. Dawson
Taurean Carter

— With star quarterback/safety Jalen Catalon out for the season and coming off an embarrassing season-opening loss, Mansfield, Texas, Legacy could have been feeling sorry for itself when it took the field on Thursday.

But that didn’t happen, and Legacy responded in a big way with the Broncos downing Crowley 39-7, something that left Arkansas defensive tackle target Taurean Carter pleased.

“I feel like we came back 100 percent,” Carter said. “I thought we did awesome. We went out and executed things and competed to the best of our abilities as we knew we were capable of with or without Jalen."

Carter, Razorback defensive tackle commit Enoch Jackson (6-0, 290 pounds) and Catalon (5-11, 190) are all scheduled to take official visits to Arkansas on Oct. 5-7 - the weekend of the Razorbacks' game against Alabama.

He feels like he and Jackson led the defense to what should be considered a shutout on Thursday night.

“Our first-team defense didn’t give up any points and they scored on the third-team defense,” Carter said. “So I am viewing it as a shutout.”

Legacy was stunned last week when it traveled to face Oklahoma power Jenks, lost the game 35-14 and lost Catalon to a knee injury.

“Sometimes God throws things at you and you just have to face adversity and work to change it,” Catalon said. “You have to just face it and look for positives.”

It was a big blow for a player that Legacy head coach Chris Melson has dubbed the best in Texas.

“You can't really replace him, the person or the player," Melson told the Dallas Morning News. "We hurt mainly for Jalen. He's such a great young man and worked hard to prepare for this season. It's unfortunate for him, because I know he had such big plans for this year and leading our team."

Catalon is considering Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama and Ohio State among others.

He had 101 tackles, 3 interceptions, 6 forced fumbles and 5 fumble recoveries last season at safety while being named the Dallas Morning News All-Area Defensive Player of the Year.

Catalon also threw for 1,122 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushed for 1,064 yards and 13 touchdowns to lead Legacy to a 12-3 mark and the 5A Division II state semifinals.

“You hate it for him, especially because it is his senior season,” Carter said. “But we can’t feel sorry for ourselves because we have a whole season to play and we still have the same goals.”

Carter had 65 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 8 sacks in 2017 en route to first-team all-district honors.

He says he is considering “Arkansas, Wisconsin, Michigan State and a little bit of Texas," with Wisconsin being his most recent offer after he had put the others in his top five.

“I want to get up there (Wisconsin) and just take a look at the place,” Carter said.

Asked about his feelings on Arkansas, Carter sounded positive as he gets closer to announcing a decision on Oct. 24.

“I love them 100 percent,” Carter said. “I love them 100 percent.”

Legacy still has a loaded team with Jackson, Carter and Texas A&M defensive back pledge Jeffery Carter with senior Cam Clark replacing Catalon as the signal caller.

"We still feel like we've got a heck of a football team,” Melson said. “A lot of good players."

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