July 10, 2010
Cali High Sports is coming out with the best and most accurate list of the top Cali players for each sport. We start with football in which an unusually deep California class has immense talent at seemingly every position.
We continue our countdown to number 1 with King's Academy running back Amir Carlisle. Amir is a gifted back with the perfect body and frame to dominant in high school and excel at the next level.
#19 Amir Carlisle
School: King's Academy
Position: Running Back
Weight: 175 pounds
Schools Considering: Stanford (Commited)
NFL Comparison: Mike Hart
Amir Carlisle plays hard.
Too often in high school players who are as talented as Carlisle don't show up to play every night, take plays off or just generally think there above the competition they face. Not Amir. Despite his prodigious talents and they fact he doesn't always face the best competition in California Carlisle comes to play every single game, on every single down.
Carlisle's best strength is probably his field vision. He sees holes as they are developing, not after they have already developed, allowing him to make quick, decisive cuts. He sees the whole field and is able to immediately recognize when a play is breaking down or if he needs to reserve field. Carlisle is patient waiting for his cuts, allowing the game to come to him and doesn't force things even if he gets stuffed two plays in a row.
In line with his great vision, Carlisle does a great job seeing what angles defenders are coming from and is very hard to get a hand on. Carlisle doesn't have elite strength but his incredibly vision and instincts give him the chance to break plays open and he always seems to be in the right place or make the right cut.
Carlisle busts out huge runs often and almost never gets brought down behind the line of scrimmage. He has phenomenal footwork which makes him a viable threat as a receiver out of the backfield.
Carlisle still needs to hit the gym to give him power but his physical tools are more then enough at this level and barring injury is he bound to have another strong campaign as a senior.
The next level?: Amir committed to Stanford before his junior season and had he not committed so early he probably would have received even more attention from D1 schools and could have even seen some big time ACC or SEC offers come his way.
But Carlisle made a great choice in going to the Cardinal, a program on the rise with a great head coach that figures to make a run at the Pac 10 championship this year. In order to make the impact he wants to Carlisle will need to bulk up and get a little quicker, but his fundamentals and skill level are already at Big D1 levels.
While Carlisle is vastly different then Stanford great Toby Gerhardt he could put up similar big numbers and be a major part of the Cardinal's ascension to an elite division 1 program.
Cali High Grade: 87
Report by Jack Davis