Story written by Jake Perper - Prep Sports Scouting
PLANT CITY – Playing in the tough Class 7A-District 9, an undersized quarterback by the name of Carlton Potter proved his worth in a big way for Durant this past season.
Playing at 5’8″, 140 lbs., the 2018 prospect tossed 1,003 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions as the Cougars started the season on a hot streak, winning their first four games.
Fast forward to this summer and Potter has grown to 6’0″ and has added 40 lbs to reach the 180-pound mark. He says he’s been eating a lot and working out a lot on a daily basis.
“I ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in between classes and snacks throughout the day.” Potter told Prep Sports Scouting. “I eat big meals and normally eat something every couple of hours.”
Durant finished 6-4 and missed out on the playoffs, but with Potter entering his second season under center things are looking up. Bloomingdale, East Bay, Lennard, Plant City, Tampa Bay Tech and Strawberry Crest will all be good once again this year in their district.
Potter spent his freshman season as a backup quarterback on JV before emerging late in the year.
He called his sophomore campaign awesome.
“It was really good. I got a lot of experience.”
Potter admits that he was nervous through the first three games of the season because he was afraid to mess up. However, he feels “a lot more confident” heading into his junior year.”
He found that confidence in a 34-13 win over Spoto in Week 2 where he tossed two touchdowns for the first time in his varsity career.
Starting his football life at age 6, he began as a defensive end and linebacker before moving to quarterback in 6th grade.
When Potter isn’t training with his teammates at Durant, he puts in the mechanical work with DeBartolo Sports quarterback instructors Joe Dickinson and Ryan Walker. He’s entering his sixth year working with them and says he throws with both Dickinson and Walker about three to four times a year.
On Dickinson: “He’s awesome. He helps me a lot with my throwing motion and my footwork. Also, we spend time in the classroom going over coverages and what we should be looking at in the game film. I text him about the games letting him know what is happening.”
On Walker: “I talk to him more often. He’s really helpful with any questions I have. If I’m watching film on a defense I’ll text coach Walker about it just to get another perspective. ”
When it comes to his strengths, Potter pointed to his ability to read defenses and his overall accuracy. At his bigger frame, he’s aiming to improve his mobility.
No offers or interest yet have come yet for Potter, but that will change once he hits the field this season.
He calls 14th year Durant head coach Michael Gottman a pretty cool guy. Gottman was a longtime assistant at East Bay before taking over the reigns at Durant in 2003.
Offensive coordinator Lawkeye Cooper is someone else that Potter leans on a lot. He calls him a really good coach, who always puts his team in the right position.
Potter’s biggest role model is his dad.
“With not only football, but he’s just always there. He helps me a lot with anything I’m doing, how to do stuff around the house. He was a coach when I was younger on my team and I throw with him a lot.”
As for his ultimate goal, Potter wants to be the best quarterback he can be on the field and be a faithful Christian off the field.
The NFL is a dream he’s always had and he would like to coach at some point in his life but he’s currently focused on getting into a good college to play football.
Potter quietly put up solid numbers in a tough district last season. With more seasoning, more height and more weight, he’s going to be pretty tough to stop in 2016.
With Potter entrenched as the full-time starter, Durant had its first winning season in three years. Expect the Cougars to improve even further. Carlton Potter is a smart and humble kid who is very easy to cheer for.
Favorite players to watch – Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady
Favorite movie – Forrest Gump
Favorite TV show – The Walking Dead
Fun fact about you that no one knows – “I play piano. I’ve been doing that since I was 4. I have a piano in my house.”
Nickname(s) from teammates or friends – “Third grader”
Game film: Potter’s Hudl tape